Rivaldo has raged against the officiating referee for what he described as “a colossal error” that turned the Croatia’s 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in favor of 2-time winners France.
Feeling disappointed and unhappy with the opener, Rivaldo argued against Antoine Griezmann’s antics which resulted in a free-kick, and a goal, thanks to Mandzukic’s unsuspecting header into Croatia’s net.
Griezmann later stepped up for a spot-kick after the match official, Nestor Pitana, awarded France their second chance for Ivan Perisoc’s handball in the 18-yard box. However, Rivaldo maintained that an initial error from the match referee unsettled Croatian.
‘I feel very sad because France won their first goal via a controversial circumstance,’ Rivaldo wrote on Instagram. ‘That goal shouldn’t have been allowed because it was a foul to begin with.’
‘This is a World Cup final,’ the former Barcelona player continued.
‘There can’t be such errors from a referee. That decision has damaged Croatia’s chances – in my opinion.’
Andujar Oliver, former referee at the World Cup, agreed with Rivaldo’s assessment of the officiating.
His words: ‘That second goal came after the Argentine referee signaled a handball by Peresic in the 39th minute…It was clearly involuntary.
‘Even his use of the VAR didn’t make it a foul but Pitana awarded the penalty…He should have known better.’