The rules of the game which denied Nigeria what looked like a penalty during their World Cup game against Argentina have been explained.
The Super Eagles went into their third game against Argentina with a big chance of making it to the next stage.
However, all Nigerian and African hearts were broken after the team lost 2-1 to the South Americans to exit the tournament.
Lionel Messi’s 14th minute goal was cancelled out by a Victor Moses penalty early in the second half, before Marcos Rojo handed Argentina the win with the two minutes remaining on the clock.
But there was a moment of drama in the game, with the biggest talking point being a penalty appeal which the referee waved away despite the ball appearing to hit the hand of Argentina defender Marcos Rojo.
An attempted header from the Manchester United rear-guard ended up hitting his hand off his shoulder, sparking wild protests from Nigeria players. However, Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir would have none of that, despite consulting the VAR.
After the game, Nigeria captain Mikel Obi described the situation as a “clear penalty”, but it has been explained why it was not given.
According to the VAR rules, once the ball comes off another part of the body before hitting the player’s hand, it is no longer a penalty.
The rules state:
“If the ball hits the hand, off another part of the body first, then it will not be considered a voluntary hand ball.”
Goals from Messi and Rojo secured qualification for Argentina as Victor Moses also scored his first goal in the World Cup for Nigeria. In the other game, Croatia defeated Iceland 2-1 to finish top of Group D.