Tuesday 21 January 2020

Jose Mourinho suggests France's World Cup triumph will forever be tarnished

Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has insisted referee Nestor Pitana was wrong to hand France a penalty in Sunday's World Cup final after his VAR review on Croatia's Ivan Perisic handball in the box.

Mourinho, who tried to sign Perisic for United last summer, also suggested the French victory in the World Cup will now forever be tarnished by the mistaken of referee Pitana and the VAR system that worked reasonably well over the course of this summer's competition in Russia.

"I am for the VAR system, but not in this form," Mourinho told Russia Today. "I supported the introduction of the system of video replay when it clearly tracks serious errors so that they do not exist, but now this is another concept, some may think that there is a reason for a penalty, and others - no.

"Now it was not clearly visible that there was a mistake. How could Perisic jump while holding his hands at the seams? How could he react when a meter from him was a French player?

"This is the final, not an ordinary match, and a solution based on VAR can affect the game.

"After such a penalty, I do not think that this is my sport. France wins the match and for me, this World Cup will remain in memory as the World Championship named after VAR."

Former United captain Roy Keane was also highly critical of the handball decision, as he lashed out at Pitana and labelled him an 'idiot' in a colourful outburst in his role as an ITV Sport pundit.

"Football is a great game, the greatest game on the planet, but that decision there disgusts me, absolutely disgusts me.

"The Croatian players deserve better than that. It's a ridiculous decision. I'm fuming, disgraceful decision. That referee has never played football, I bet you he has never played football."

"Where is the common sense? We end up talking about the referee. You are not supposed to be talking about referees. We should talk about the players, the quality and we end up talking about this idiot. It's a crazy decision."

Meanwhile, Mourinho also offered his first public comments on why Perisic did not join United after he reportedly underwent a medical with the Old Trafford club before a transfer fee could not be agreed with his club Inter Milan.

"Perisic went from Croatia to Dortmund to Wolfsburg to Inter," he added. "I don’t know why he didn’t come to Manchester when I wanted him."

Online Editors

The Throw-In: New era for Dublin, all up for grabs in the hurling league and club final heroics

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport