EXCLUSIVE: Argentina’s controversial penalty that Lionel Messi missed was RIGHT to be awarded, insists FIFA privately, after it was described as one of the WORST World Cup decisions in history by supporters
- Argentina were awarded a controversial penalty in their 2-0 win against Poland
- It was labelled one of the worst World Cup decisions ever by pundits and fans
- But FIFA has privately backed Danny Makkelie’s decision to award the spot-kick
- Wojciech Szczesny, who was deemed the culprit, saved Lionel Messi’s penalty
FIFA have privately backed Danny Makkelie’s decision to award Argentina the penalty that Lionel Messi missed against Poland on Wednesday.
Messi went down holding his face after being caught by the hand of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who was trying to claim Julian Alvarez’s cross in the 36th minute of Argentina’s 2-0 win.
VAR Pol van Boekel advised a pitchside review by Makkelie, who pointed to the spot.
FIFA has backed Danny Makkelie’s decision to award Argentina their penalty against Poland
It was described as one of the worst decisions in World Cup history by supporters.
Sportsmail columnist Chris Sutton called it ‘outrageous’ and TV pundit Rio Ferdinand ‘disgraceful’, and Alan Shearer said it was ‘never, ever a penalty’.
But sources in Qatar have disclosed World Cup refereeing chiefs are satisfied with the decision, with Makkelie assured it was a careless use of a hand by Szczesny.
The penalty was described as one of the worst ever World Cup decisions by pundits and fans
The spot-kick was superbly saved by the former Arsenal keeper, who said of Messi afterwards: ‘We spoke before the penalty. I bet him €100 that he wasn’t going to give it, so I’ve lost a bet against Messi.
‘I don’t know if that’s allowed at a World Cup. I’m probably going to get banned for it! I don’t care. I’m not going to pay him either!’
Goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Alvarez saw Argentina into the last 16, while Poland also went through on goal difference.
Wojciech Szczesny, who gave away the penalty, then saved Lionel Messi’s effort from the spot
The use of VAR has largely been good at this World Cup, but some decisions have been questioned.
Qatar were not awarded a penalty in their 3-1 defeat by Senegal when Akram Afif felt he was fouled by Ismaila Sarr.
That is despite Cristiano Ronaldo being awarded a spot-kick for much less a day earlier in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana.