According to the rules, match referee Szymon Marciniak should have disallowed Messi’s second goal in extra time, according to a tweet from L’Equipe that has gone viral. Before the ball crossed Hugo Lloris’ goal line, Argentinian replacements were already on the field.
What actually happened when Messi scored his second goal?
The report from L’Equipe continues, “According to the rules, Szymon Marciniak, the referee of the final, should have denied Lionel Messi’s second goal. We give reasons.”
“Some Argentine substitutes are already on the pitch, ready to celebrate, as Messi resumes Hugo Lloris’ stop. This is absolutely forbidden.”
They quote Law 3, Paragraph 9, of the FA’s laws of the games, which states: “If, after a goal is scored, the referee becomes aware, before the game resumes, that an additional person was on the field at the time the goal was scored: the referee must refuse the goal if the additional person was: a player, a substitute, a substitute, an excluded player, or an official of the team that scored.”
Should the video assistant have revived Messi’s second goal?
On Monday morning, Dale Johnson of ESPN, who is an authority on all things VAR, tweeted: “Some notion that Lionel Messi’s second goal should have been disallowed because 2 Argentina substitutes stepped onto the pitch to celebrate right before the ball crossed the line.”
Perhaps according to the text of the law, but it is far too trivial to fall inside the purview of the VAR.
Thus, it appears that denying Messi’s goal would have been a morally right but severe decision on the part of referee Marciniak.
In reality, it was likely to be one of the most contentious decisions in World Cup history.