Fifa finally release footage that proves Japan’s goal was legitimate

Fifa have released showing the ball was still on the line as Kaoru Mitoma crossed it for Ao Tanaka to score for Japan against Germany

Fifa have finally revealed the footage they used to overturn the decision to rule out Japan’s winning goal against Spain on Thursday, which sent Germany out of the World Cup.

Fifa’s referees’ chiefs are expected to convene next week when they are likely to be grilled over some of the controversial Video Assistant Referee decisions that have sparked widespread debate in Qatar.

These include the decision to allow Japan’s winning goal to stand in their thrilling 2-1 victory over Spain on Thursday amid a frenzied discussion over whether the ball had gone out of play before the Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma crossed for Ao Tanaka to score.

Fifa tweeted on Friday that the “video match officials used the goal line camera images to check if the ball was still partially on the line or not”. They added that, while “other cameras may offer misleading images”, the officials had decided that “on the evidence available, the whole of the ball was not out of play”.

Other controversies include the decision to award Argentina a penalty in their 2-0 win over Poland after Wojciech Szczesny’s glove brushed Lionel Messi’s face and a last gasp equaliser from Antoine Griezmann in France’s 1-0 defeat to Tunisia being ruled out for offside. France are filing a complaint to Fifa over that incident.

Pierluigi Collina, Fifa’s referees’ committee chairman, Massimo Busacca, the referees’ department head, and the world governing body’s director of football technology and innovation Johannes Holzmuller are due to hold a press conference in which they run the rule over some of the big talking points from the group stage and Round of 16 matches.

A formal date for the meeting has yet to be set although sources have indicated it could take place on Wednesday or Thursday, which will serve as rest days before the quarter-finals are due to commence.

Collina, Busacca and Holzmuller held a press conference on the eve of the tournament at which they discussed the introduction of semi-automated offside technology (SOAT) and inertial measurement unit (IMU) motion sensors in the Al Rihla balls, both of which have been designed to help make faster, more accurate offside decisions.

But, despite the enhanced use of technology at this tournament, Var has been at the centre of a series of controversies over the past fortnight.

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