Petition to have Fifa World Cup final replayed gaining momentum

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates with the trophy in front of the fans after winning the World Cup final soccer match between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. Argentina won 4-2 in a penalty shootout after the match ended tied 3-3. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
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Durban – A petition to have the Fifa World Cup final between Argentina and France replayed is gaining momentum after more than 200 000 signatures were collected.

The Albicelestes claimed their third World Cup title with a dramatic 4-2 penalty shootout victory over Les Bleu, with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez the hero on the day.

Argentina went into the break with a two-goal advantage, their third such buffer in as many matches after captain Lionel Messi converted a controversial penalty and Angel di Maria added the second before half-time.

Coach Didier Deschamp’s France side needed a mercurial moment to fight their way back and Mbappe provided it, scoring two quick-fire goals and adding a third in extra time in response to Messi’s second on the day, sending the game to the dreaded penalty shootout.

A section of French supporters were left fuming after their side failed to defend their title in Qatar, leading to them launching an online petition on a French website, MesOpinions, that has Argentina’s first-half penalty and Di Maria’s goal at the centre of it.

“The arbitration was totally sold, there was never a penalty + fault on MBAPPE on the 2nd goal!!!,” read the petition.

Never in the competition’s history has a final ever been replayed on account of a questionable refereeing decision and that is set to continue.

French fans aren’t strangers to these types of reactions after taking a similar stance last year when France were knocked out of Euro 2020 by Switzerland on penalties, arguing that Yan Sommer was off his line when saving Kylian Mbappe’s spot-kick.