The 'unlucky' controversy that 'made a mockery' of World Cup rule

Socceroos great Mark Schwarzer claims FIFA made ‘a mockery of the VAR’ after an obstruction in the penalty box went unpunished in the World Cup semi-final between Croatia and England.

Croatia’s Dejan Lovren had words with referee Cuneyt Cakir over an injury-time clash as the players walked off the field for half-time, though it didn’t change the whistleblower’s mind.

The defender’s point of frustration was that he had been taken down in the box by England’s Harry Maguire as Luka Modric whipped in a free kick.

Lovren got back to his feet in an attempt to contribute to the play and half-time was called as Croatia lost possession.

Broadcasts around the world cut to a split screen of the VAR bunker – suggesting the referee might have made a mistake – but no official review was forthcoming, much to the ire of Schwarzer.

The referee was right there – and Lovren wasn’t happy. Pic: Getty/Optus

“I think (Croatia were) very, very unlucky. They had to go to a review,” he said on Optus Sport.

“The referee was adamant that it was half-time and they were going off the pitch.

“I think that’s a penalty. The way the game’s being played, that’s a penalty, it has to be penalty. That makes a mockery of the VAR.”

Reports out of the UK suggest English analysts felt the decision was a correct one, which put some fans offside:

Missing out on a penalty didn’t come back to bite Croatia but the contrast between the non-decision and earlier fouls at the World Cup highlight the trouble with VAR.

“That’s what’s annoying about the VAR,” Schwarzer added.

“I think it’s a great system to have in place, it’s the inconsistency (that’s an issue). That is clear to me, that is a penalty.”

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