Japan beat Spain 2-1 thanks to Ao Tanaka’s winning goal from a Kaoru Mitoma cut-back which initially appeared to have gone out of play; A lengthy VAR check ruled in favour of Japan, the full curvature of the ball not deemed to have crossed the line; The result knocked out Germany
Graeme Souness has called upon FIFA to release conclusive evidence the ball stayed in play in the incident which led to Japan’s dramatic winner against Spain and knocked out Germany.
Ao Tanaka completed a stunning turnaround from a Kaoru Mitoma cut-back which initially appeared to have gone out of play. A lengthy VAR check followed the goal, but it sensationally ruled in favour of Japan, the full curvature of the ball not deemed to have crossed the line.
Japan’s victory meant they finished top of Group E, with Spain second and Germany, who beat Costa Rica 4-2 in a thriller, sent packing. But with replays of the incident appearing inconclusive, Sky Sports’ Souness demanded FIFA showed their evidence for making the decision.
“There are 80 million Germans right now going mad, waiting for a picture that shows that ball didn’t go out of play,” he told ITV.
“Germany is not a small footballing nation. Why would you create confusion and not want to clear it up immediately?
“Why are FIFA not showing us something that is so controversial? Why aren’t they showing it to us? Clear it up for us, please.”
Gary Neville questioned why television audiences were not shown all the angles of Japan’s winning goal afterwards.
“The high cam that is on the line does suggest that there might be some of the ball over the line,” he said on ITV.
“But from that very first offside goal, Ecuador vs Qatar in game one, I’ve struggled with it a little bit that we’ve not been given the correct angles, it just doesn’t feel right.
“In the Premier League we see all the VAR cameras, here we don’t.”
Thomas Muller, 33, who may have played his last international match for Germany, was left in disbelief at how their World Cup campaign had ended.
“It’s an absolute disaster! I don’t know what happens next. If this was my last game, then I would like to say a few words to the German football fans. It was an enormous pleasure, dear people,” a tearful Muller told ARD.
“We experienced great moments. I tried to leave my heart on the court in every game.
“It is unbelievably bitter for us because our result would have been enough. It’s a feeling of powerlessness.”