FIFA explains why Japan's goal against Spain was allowed

for Tv47 Digital December 02, 2022, 08:03 AM
Japan Goal
Japan's Kaoru Mitoma crosses the ball which appears to be out of play before Ao Tanaka nets the winner against Spain. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • FIFA says that the ball was still in play when Japan scored the winner against Spain.

Japan completed a stunning second-half comeback in their World Cup match against Spain with a controversial goal which also meant Germany was eliminated from the group stage for the second successive time.

Camera shots suggested the ball was out of play before Karou Mitoma stretched to cross back in for Tanaka who poked home but the goal was given after a lengthy VAR delay.

FIFA has now explained the situation saying that unreleased footage shows that the whole ball hadn't actually gone out, and was overhanging the line. 

According to FIFA rules, the ball is in play "if the curvature of the ball is over the line". The VAR decided that was the case having reviewed the available camera angles.

Former FIFA referee Peter Walton has also defended the goal saying that the curve of the ball was still in play.

"There’s a misconception in law that just because the part of the ball that is on the floor is over the line is out - well it clearly isn’t because it’s the curve of the ball. We see it often with corner kicks where it’s over the line but not quite over the line," Walton told ITV.

The case will undoubtedly be one of the most marginal calls of the World Cup so far that will continue to be debated for a long time.


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