It was a penalty - Griezmann backs VAR call

VAR was used to give a penalty for the first time in World Cup history, and Antoine Griezmann backed the decision.

Published : Jun 16, 2018 20:06 IST

France's Antoine Griezmann, rear right, run on the field during training
France's Antoine Griezmann, rear right, run on the field during training

France's Antoine Griezmann, rear right, run on the field during training

France forward Antoine Griezmann says VAR was correct to award a penalty when he was tripped by Josh Risdon in his side's Group C opener against Australia.

Although referee Andres Cunha initially waved play on, he pointed to the spot after consulting video technology, Griezmann having been clipped by Risdon as he entered the box.

Replays appeared inconclusive as to whether or not the Australia right-back got a touch on the ball before bringing down Griezmann, who shook off the lengthy delay to convert the penalty.

Paul Pogba's deflected goal handed France a fortuitous 2-1 victory after Mile Jedinak levelled with a spot-kick, but despite the VAR controversy the Atletico Madrid star was in no doubt the right decision was made in the end.

"First of all, I felt the contact and for me it was a penalty," man of the match Griezmann told reporters. 

"But there was no whistle so I thought about other things.

"I saw the referee went to review and felt he would give a penalty and so I started to think about how to handle it."

'Team selection not the most important thing'

France toiled until the introduction of Olivier Giroud as a second-half substitute, the Chelsea striker holding the ball up for Pogba to hit the winner via a nick off Aziz Behich.

Griezmann started as part of a fluid front three with Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele and the striker shrugged off a question about Didier Deschamps' team selection.

"It's not the most important thing," Griezmann said. "And as I said this is the first match where we played together, we have to get used to each other and train together."

Griezmann, who this week confirmed his decision to stay at Atletico in a television documentary despite strong interest from Barcelona, did not take questions about his future.

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