Argentina and Lionel Messi face fresh controversy amid claims that their third goal during their World Cup final win over France should have been disallowed. Messi scored from the rebound of Lautaro Martinez’s strike to give his side a 3-2 lead in extra time, before Kylian Mbappe scored the third goal of his hat-trick to send the game to a penalty shoot-out.
The Argentines won on spot kicks after Aurelien Tchouameni and Kingsley Coman missed from 12 yards, but there had been scrutiny over Messi’s second and Argentina’s third goal. Claims were made after the full-time whistle that due to substitutes entering the pitch at the time, the goal should have been disallowed.
Now there has been a second claim that the goal should have been ruled out due to an offside in the buildup. As the ball was played over the top by Gonzalo Montiel, Messi appeared to be coming back from an offside position. However the Paris Saint-Germain star did not receive the ball and it instead went to Martinez, who exchanged passes with Messi before striking a shot which Hugo Lloris parried to the Argentina captain to score.
Referee Szymon Marciniak and his officiating team will have deemed that the goal was fair as Messi did not directly receive the ball and was not interfering with play as the ball from Montiel was played, though he did swiftly take up possession to help create and then score the crucial goal.
According to Football Association and FIFA provisions, an offside player makes an offence when receiving the ball or by preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by obstructing his line of vision, by challenging an opponent for the ball, by clearly attempting to play the ball when this impacts an opponent, or by making an obvious action which impacts an opponent’s ability to play the ball.
The news comes after nearly 200,000 France fans signed a petition to replay the final after moaning about Argentina’s first two goals. The only petition site MesOpinions has seen over 195,000 signatures stating that the officials had been conned, as they claim that Messi’s opening penalty was soft as there was minimal contact between Angel Di Maria and Ousmane Dembele.
France fans also felt that Mbappe was fouled by Cristian Romero in the buildup to Argentina’s second, before a lightning counter-attack caught the French team out as Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister laid the ball on a plate for Di Maria to double his side’s lead in the first half.
French outlet L’Equipe published an article the morning after the game stating that Argentina’s third should not have been awarded, quoting the laws of the game as evidence.
According to Law Three, paragraph nine in the International Football Association Board’s Laws of the Game, it states: “If, after a goal is scored, the referee realises, before play restarts, that an extra person — a player, substituted player, sent-off player or team official of the team that scored the goal — was on the field of play when the goal was scored, the referee must disallow the goal”.