World Cup final: Alan Shearer blasts 'ridiculous' VAR decision for France penalty
Alan Shearer has blasted the decision to award France a first-half penalty during the World Cup final as 'ridiculous'.
Referee Nestor Pitana pointed to the spot after a long VAR consultation and Antoine Griezmann gave his side a 2-1 advantage over Croatia 38 minutes in. France went on to win the final 4-2.
- Read more: How France won World Cup final thriller featuring VAR controversy and two stunning strikes
The decision followed the ball striking the arm of Croatian goal-scorer Ivan Perisic, who had levelled the game with a thundering effort on 28 minutes, after Mario Mandzukic's own goal gave France the lead.
Referee Pitana reviewed the decision himself at the pitch-side monitor and eventually gave the penalty.
Shearer and the entire BBC panel, also including Rio Ferdinand and Jurgen Klinsmann, agreed that the decision to award the spot-kick was wrong.
"It would be a crying shame if the game was decided here," Shearer said. "The referee has got to be certain it's a deliberate hand-ball. It's come from a yard at pace - there's no way it's deliberate.
"The referee didn't give it originally. He went to VAR and then he's certain he has made a big error in a World Cup final. I don't agree with that.
"I didn't want that decision to decide it because we've had such a brilliant tournament."
The decision followed another contentious call to award France the free-kick that led to the 18th minute opener, with Shearer arguing that Griezmann wasn't fouled.
"He was expecting to be hit and he wasn't," said Shearer at half-time. "That's a dive. It's not a free-kick. That's not enough for a foul.
"Croatia have been brilliant and they're losing because of a free-kick that wasn't a free-kick and a penalty that wasn't a penalty."
Belfast Telegraph Digital