This is why the ref didn’t award Nigeria a penalty after Rojo’s hand ball

Nigeria lost 2-1 to Argentina but the referee came under the spotlight after ignoring a penalty appeal from the Africans.

Nigeria lost 2-1 to the South Americans on Tuesday, in a game which saw the Super Eagles eliminated from the World Cup.

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An early goal from Lionel Messi was cancelled out by a penalty from Victor Moses, but Marcos Rojo popped up with a late winner for Argentina.

However, the game was defined by a moment of controversy after referee Cuneyt Cakir waved play on despite the ball appearing to strike the hand of Rojo in the Argentina penalty box.

An attempted header from the Manchester United rearguard ended up hitting his hand off his shoulder, sparking wild protests from Nigeria players.

But not even the referee’s consultation with the VAR could sway the decision in favour of Nigria.

"It was a clear penalty for me. If you look at the Portugal game yesterday, this wasn't close to that. This was worse. We have seen it again in the dressing room. It was a clear handball,” Nigeria captain Mikel Obi lamented in the aftermath.

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“The referee looked at the VAR. He said it hit the hand. I asked why he didn't give the penalty, but he said he didn't know.”

However, per the VAR rules any ball that comes off another part of the body first before hitting the hand is not a hand ball and should not be given as 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.”

What do you think about the rules? Leave your comment below.

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