Stories of unfair impact: The Final Match


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.

The Queensland Study: A self-feeding mechanism

The diving player is more likely to ‘get away with it’ the more frequently they dive.


VAR would have had 4% effectiveness in Champions League matches

Detailed analysis from 12 Champions League matches (round of 16).


World Cup unsung hero: N’Golo Kanté

The player who doesn’t dive. The player who plays one, two, five, any number of matches and just doesn’t dive.