Why was the Croatia penalty disallowed against Belgium in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022?

Croatia’s penalty kick in the 15th minute was denied after a VAR, followed by an on screen check in its final FIFA World Cup group stage match against Belgium at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Thursday.

In the 15th minute, an aerial pass by Luka Modric was headed by Dejan Lovren in the centre, but Alex Witsel fouled Andrej Kramaric in the follow-up as referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot.

Modric stepped up to take the penalty against his club teammate Thibaut Courtois, but Taylor decided to re-check the incident himself on the screen after a VAR check by the off-field team and finally ruled the spot kick out.

Why was the Croatia penalty disallowed ?

The penalty was disallowed because when Modric delivered the pass from the midfield, Lovren, who received it, had made a run in front of Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen and was, in fact, at an offside position.V

Vertonghen (#5) saw Lovren make a run and the latter was ruled offside second before referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot.
| Photo Credit: FIFA

This was clear from the semi-automatic offside technology, used for the first time in a FIFA World Cup, in Qatar. While it was Kramaric, who was initially in an offside, position, it was the former Liverpool defender’s run and then the header, that saw the penalty being ruled out.

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