- Neymar was blasted on Twitter after drawing a penalty on an egregious dive.
- VAR overturned the penalty call, leading Twitter to sing VAR’s praises.
- The introduction of VAR is new, and the technology has divided fans’ opinions in the past.
Late in a deadlocked World Cup group stage match, Brazilian star Neymar looked to have earned a penalty against Costa Rica thanks to a rather ridiculous dive, one that Twitter took to roasting him for.
Ahhh. He began the flop process anticipating a shirt tug, and the defender pulled out of the tug. Lol. Owned.
— Mike L. Goodman (@TheM_L_G) June 22, 2018
NEYMAR SIMPLY FEELS GRAVITY MORE THAN NORMAL MORTALS. DRAYMOND GREEN LEVELS OF GRAVITY pic.twitter.com/NibFGTUfie
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) June 22, 2018
But this World Cup is not like past World Cups, no, this World Cup has video assistant referee, or VAR, ready to use in the case of controversial calls, and here VAR came to the rescue.
VAR says no! Neymar's penalty is overturned! pic.twitter.com/rri8CNCtvY
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 22, 2018
Naturally, Twitter was thrilled with the result. “VAR gets it right. Again,” wrote Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl on Twitter, while ESPN’s Raphael Honigstein said the call was the, “Best use of VAR, EVER.”
VAR represents a relatively major rule change for soccer, and its implementation has not been universally welcomed by fans, out of concerns that the technology might disrupt the flow of the game. But if VAR can disincentivize egregious dives like Neymar’s, the technology just might win everyone over.
As for Brazil, they went on to score two goals in stoppage time, with Neymar getting one of them, to win the match 2-0.
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