Stories of unfair impact: The Final Match

2020-01-09

In the men’s World Cup final, arguably the sport’s most important fixture and unquestionably the biggest in terms of viewership. France are playing Croatia. The score is 0-0 until minute 16:55, when Antoine Griezmann (France) dives outside the box. This is a no contact dive, where the player starts falling before any contact has taken place (video clip). When France take the resultant free kick, Mario Mandžukić deflects the ball into his own net, giving France a 1-0 advantage. France ultimately win the match (4-2) and are crowned World Champions.

The debate about whether Griezmann’s dive was a root cause of France’s final victory is beyond the scope of this report. What is undeniable is that the free kick should never have been awarded.

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