‘Does anybody know the rules?!’
“The referee has ruined a very good of game. That’s a joke. Does anybody know the rules?!“
How many times have we heard that since VAR came into full-time effect? We’ve lost count to be honest.
And who could disagree with Dean Saunders after Neco Williams was awarded an incredibly harsh red card in Wales’ friendly against France on Wednesday night.
Wales were more than holding their own before Neco Williams was given a straight red card by referee Godinho on 26 minutes.
It appeared a very harsh call, feelings echoed by the aforementioned Saunders after Karim Benzema – featuring for his national side for the first time in six years – was denied from the spot by the excellent Danny Ward.
“They make these rules up every week. The rules in football now, there’s that many of them and they change them that often,” he said on talkSPORT.
“It’s going to be a training match now with 10 against 11. I was saying how good VAR is and then the man looking at it must have said he deliberately handed it.
“For me if your arm is in an unnatural position then you give the penalty… but is that deliberate?”
He continued: “His arms weren’t supposed to be in that position, so that’s the penalty given. But to send him off and ruin the game? That’s very harsh.
“It’s very difficult when someone’s smashing a ball at you from point blank range… he’s protecting himself. The whole thing has gone barmy.
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“We’re in for a long night, ten men against this team. It’s not a red card. He must have looked at it about 15 times!
“Do we know who a good referee is anymore? We used to, but they don’t referee the game anymore.”
Nigel Adderley was in full agreement with Saunders, saying: “In the Premier League that would not be given. To make that decision is quite frankly ridiculous.
“The game’s been full of controversy and it’s a friendly. That tells you all you need to know!”
Sadly for Wales, Saunders’ prediction about France going on to win the game with relative ease came to fruition – although the eventual 3-0 scoreline flattered the hosts somewhat.
PSG ace Kylian Mbappe gave France the lead on 34 minutes, prodduing home from close range after Ward initially saved Adrien Rabiot’s deflected effort.
Antoine Griezmann doubled the hosts’ lead with a world-class effort following a ruthless counter-attack three minutes after the interval.
And substitute Ousmane Dembele also got on the scoresheet after the Barcelona forward react quickest when Benzema’s fine effort rebounded off the post.