Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has come to the defense of Croatian winger Ivan Perisic over his World Cup final handball. Following Mario Mandzukic’s unfortunate own goal, Perisic leveled for Croatia with a stunning left-footed strike. However, just a few minutes later, his arm made contact with a ball delivered in by Antoine Griezmann and after a VAR review, official Nestor Pitana awarded a spot-kick to France. Antoine Griezmann converted and France were back in front.
Speaking to Russia Today, Mourinho said, “I am for the VAR system, but not in this form. I supported the introduction of the system of video replay when it clearly tracks serious errors so that they do not exist. But now this is another concept, some may think that there is a reason for a penalty, and others – no.”
“Now it was not clearly visible that there was a mistake. How could Perisic jump while holding his hands at the seams? How could he react when a meter from him was a French player? This is the final, not an ordinary match, and a solution based on VAR can affect the game.”
The Portuguese also added that he did not see any intent in Perisic’s handball. Mourinho is not the only who has criticized the penalty awarded to France in the final. Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has also expressed his disappointment over the decision made by Nestor Pitana.
Jose Mourinho is keen to bring the Inter Milan midfielder to Old Trafford this summer. Perisic was one of the finest wingers during the World Cup as he scored three goals for Croatia during the tournament.