Aussie coach slams referee after France loss

2018-06-16 15:37
Bert van Marwijk (Getty)

Kazan Arena - Australia coach Bert van Marwijk hit out at Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha following the 2-1 World Cup defeat to France on Saturday that saw VAR used for the first time.

Antoine Griezmann scored from the first VAR-assisted penalty awarded in the history of the World Cup in Kazan to give France a 58th minute lead.

Although Australian captain Mile Jedinak levelled from the spot four minutes later following an intentional handball by by Samuel Umtiti, goalline technology was used in decisive fashion when Paul Pogba's deflected shot crept over the goalline in the 81st minute.

Although hailing the "guts" of his Socceroos side, Van Marwijk - who coached the Dutch to the 2010 World Cup final - could not hide his disappointment with Cunha.

"I hoped that maybe one time there would be a very honest referee, and in that moment, that he wouldn't go to the video screen," the Dutchman said afterwards after being asked his reaction to seeing Cunha rush to the touchline to consult footage of Josh Risdon's foul on Griezmann.

"I saw him standing there. The body language (seemed to suggest) was that he didn't know, from my position.

"And then you have to take a decision - France or Australia. I got a lot of reactions, let's say that out of 10 people seven said it was a penalty and three said no penalty.

"So I don't know. I have to see it (the footage)."

The 65-year-old Dutchman added: "It's very difficult to decide when you have 50,000 people (in the stadium) on his back, he must decide.

"He was standing very close to the moment of the penalty, and he said directly, 'Go (play) on'.

"He's also a human being, and everyone makes mistakes."

Van Marwijk, who led the Netherlands to the final in 2010 before an extra-time defeat to Spain, said however he was not bitter against France.

"I wish them all the luck, and I mean that," he said.

VAR has been used to varying degrees of success in Serie A and the German Bundesliga, while FIFA used the system at the Confederations Cup in Russia last year.

But the English Premier League has put its introduction on hold after it was trialled in cup competitions.

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