Ronaldo's World Cup relief, Messi's outburst and the A-League's grand final gaffe – VAR's craziest moments


After Gabriel Jesus' late goal against Tottenham was disallowed, we have looked at some of the most controversial VAR moments.

Queiroz sees red over Ronaldo caution

VAR made its FIFA World Cup debut at Russia 2018 and won over many critics, but not Carlos Queiroz.

Queiroz's Iran were knocked out by Portugal following a 1-1 draw in the group stage, a result potentially influenced by Cristiano Ronaldo escaping a red card.

Referee Enrique Caceres opted against dismissing the superstar forward despite reviewing his apparent elbow on Morteza Pouraliganji.

"Elbow is a red card in the rules, the rules don't say if it's Messi or Ronaldo," Queiroz later protested.

Messi banned after Copa America outburst

Lionel Messi was handed a three-month ban from international football after accusing South America's governing body CONMEBOL of "corruption" during the Copa America.

Messi was sent off after an altercation with Gary Medel during the Copa's third-place play-off in July.

Despite having VAR to call on, the referee did not look back at the footage, which would have proved Messi's innocence.

After the match, Messi did not appear with his teammates to collect a medal, saying he did not wish to "be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa".

Glitch blames for grand final gaffe

VAR failed on the biggest stage in Australian football in May 2018, when the official using the video review system was not provided with access to the camera views which would have enabled him to disallow Melbourne Victory's ninth-minute goal.

Kosta Barbarouses bundled home the quickest goal in an A-League Grand Final, though his effort should not have stood, with James Donachie having been clearly offside before he headed the ball back into a crowded penalty area.

'Joke of the year' denies Bayern

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness is not known for straying away from controversy. This instance, in May this year, proved no different.

Hoeness was enraged after Leon Goretzka had a goal, which would have secured the Bundesliga title, ruled out against RB Leipzig, with Robert Lewandowski having been adjudged to have become active when he strayed into an offside position before the midfielder unleashed his shot.

Hoeness branded the decision "the joke of the year", as the title race – which Bayern ultimately won – went right down to the wire.

PSG punished by Kimpembe handball

Manchester United completed an extraordinary comeback in last season's UEFA Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain, but were given a huge helping hand by VAR.

Diogo Dalot let rip with a strike that hit the arm of Presnel Kimpembe, who had hardly had a chance to react.

However, VAR instructed the on-field official to have another look, and Damir Skomina then changed his decision and awarded United a spot-kick which Marcus Rashford converted to send United through on away goals.

Penalty awarded after half-time

In a truly bizarre example of VAR's use, Bundesliga referee Guido Winkmann awarded a penalty after the half-time whistle had been blown during a match between Mainz and Freiburg.

Winkmann called both sides back from the dressing room after consulting the video system and penalising Freiburg for a handball.

Mainz's Pablo de Blasis scored the penalty, and added a second late on to secure the points. 

"It leaves a bitter taste," Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier said.

Spot-kick swings World Cup final momentum

VAR took centre stage in Moscow when, with the World Cup final between France and Croatia evenly poised at 1-1, the video system was used to deem Ivan Perisic – Croatia's goalscorer – had committed a handball.

Referee Nestor Pitana had not awarded a penalty when Samuel Umtiti's flick-on struck Perisic's arm, but changed his decision once he viewed the replay.

It seemed incredibly harsh on Perisic, who did not have time to move out of the way, and Croatia, as France went on to win 4-2.

Chaos descends at Etihad Stadium

Gabriel Jesus' late disallowed goal was not the first such controversy in a game between Manchester City and Tottenham at the Etihad.

In April, Raheem Sterling thought he had settled an epic quarter-final tie in City's favour when he tucked in from Sergio Aguero's cross in the dying seconds.

But, with the celebrations already well underway, the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside.

To make matters worse for City, VAR had failed to spot a handball by Fernando Llorente when he had bundled in at the other end – a goal which ultimately sent Spurs through on away goals.

Source Omnisport