Canada fans fume as linesman flags offside from a Belgium pass and costs penalty
Canada were bizarrely denied a penalty at the World Cup after the linesman flagged offside – for a Belgium back pass.
Captain Alphonso Davies had already missed from the spot after a handball was spotted by VAR early on in the Group F clash. But the Canadians could have had another chance when Jan Vertonghen brought down Tajon Buchanan with a mis-timed challenge in the 13th minute.
However, the linesman's flag was raised for offside – despite the pass actually being a wayward attempt from Eden Hazard. Spain legend Cesc Fabregas tweeted: "Isn’t this a back pass and a pen? What did I miss?"
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And he wasn't the only bemused viewer at home. One asked: "What is going on? That was a pass back? Insane." Another wrote: "That’s another pen for Canada there – can’t be offside from a backpass!"
One argued: "Canada robbed. Offside from a Belgian pass back so should have had a second pen." A fellow eagle-eyed fan noted: "The lino has just given offside from a Belgian back pass."
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"Was a pass back daft ref," fumed one, while another angry supporter added: "Back pass is not offside. Wtf is wrong with this ref."
Canada's players protested but were waved away by Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe, who infamously blew up five minutes early in an Africa Cup of Nations match earlier this year. He later blamed his error on heatstroke which caused him to hallucinate.
Replays showed Vertonghen had got a touch on the ball, but it certainly would've been a contentious one if offside hadn't of been given.
He denied another penalty as the first half progressed, before Michy Batshuayi's strike shortly before the break rubbed salt into their wounds as Belgium went into the break ahead.
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