World Cup 2022: Fans Claim Final Is Rigged After Dubious Messi Penalty

World Cup 2022: Fans Claim Final Is Rigged After Dubious Messi Penalty

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
  • France ceded its World Cup trophy to Argentina following a penalty shootout defeat
  • Some football fans the result has been skewed to favour Lionel Messi and his country
  • The Grand Finale was a cocktail of controversial decisions, drama and stunning goals

Football fans have expressed their dissatisfaction with officiating in the final of the 2022 World Cup, between defending champions France and favourites Argentina.

Officiating at this year's Mundial has been dogged by allegedly shady refereeing decisions, particularly in the business end of the competition, with many football fans arguing the tournament has been skewed to favour Argentina.

Messi, dubious, contentious, controversial, penalty, VAR, World Cup, final
A first-half penalty awarded to Argentina following a foul on Angel Di Maria has divided opinions. Photo credit: @brfootball
Source: Twitter

According to Sportingnews, Argentina have previously been awarded four penalties prior to the final, raising concerns about the level of officiating.

Adding insults to injury for most critics, La Albiceleste were awarded a contentious penalty against France to fuel the match-fixing rumours.

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Regardless of the controversial nature of the penalty, Lionel Messi was calm as ever as he slotted home to break the game's deadlock.

Di Maria doubled the lead for the eventual champions, but Messi and Mbappe traded five goals across 45 second-half minutes and 30 minutes of extra time, with the South Americans winning on penalties, per Reuters.

Fans have their say

@carlogarganese tweeted:

"This World Cup is more fixed for Argentina than the 1978 World Cup. Argentina have now had more penalties in this World Cup than any team in history."

@UTDTrey added:

"Never seen them give one man so many penalties in one competition, this [expletive] is rigged."

@PoojaMedia was astonished why the Video Assistant Referee was not consulted:

"There was no VAR check for that penalty call. Wow."

@Der_Augustus alleged:

"Only Argentina gets those penalties... This WC is rigged."

@piersmorgan, a staunch Ronaldo fan, emphatically stated:

"That wasn’t a penalty."

Match-fixing allegations swirl

Past comments made by the 2022 World Cup Organising Chief Hassan Al-Thawadi have resurfaced, just a few hours before the final.

Argentina will take on France at the Lusail Stadium, with the main storyline being whether Messi can conquer all football or whether Kylian Mbappe can win back-to-back world titles.

Qatar was dogged by numerous controversies before the games began, ranging from LGBTQ rights to alcohol rules. However, pundits have avered that the Middle East nation has lived up to the billing and provided a perfect competition.

Is Qatar a controversial host?

Sports Brief reported that the decision to award Qatar the hosting rights of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in 2010 was met with much resistance from the word go.

The United States of America had been widely expected to win the bidding process, but then FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced the Gulf nation as the host nation.

Shocking corruption allegations then rocked the global football body, concerning members of the Executive Committee - the panel responsible for deciding who hosts the World Cup tournament.