Peter Walton, a former Premier League referee, has explained why Japan’s last goal in their 2-1 win over Spain on Thursday night was allowed to stand.
The goal was the reason Germany crashed out of the tournament on Thursday, with Japan and Spain progressing to the next round.
According to Walton, the goal was allowed to stand because the curvature of the ball did not go out of play.
Watching the replays, one would say that the ball had actually rolled over before Kaoru Mitoma managed to put it back into play for Ao Tanaka to tap in from close range.
A lengthy VAR check concluded the ball had not crossed the line.
Walton told ITV that FIFA’s technical crew must have seen images confirming the curvature of the ball did not go out of play.
“There’s a misconception in law that just because the part of the ball that is on the floor is over the line, it's out—well, it clearly isn’t because it’s the curve of the ball,” Walton said.
Walton said that VAR actually looked out for the evidence that led to the referee’s initial decision that the ball went out of play but could not find any.
“The law is specific; the ball is still in play if the curvature of the ball breaks that line—do we have that evidence to show?” He added.
Japan’s shocking 2-1 defeat of Spain meant that Germany crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage, leaving the Asian giant as the group’s winners.
Germany, Spain, Brazil, England, France, Argentina, and Belgium were tipped to win the World Cup in Qatar. But Belgium and Germany have now been sent home, with the rest of them progressing to the round of 16.
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