Argentinians point to apparent Upamecano handball amid Messi goal claims

In the wake of French claims that Lionel Messi scored a goal that shouldn’t have counted in Sunday’s World Cup final, Argentinians have responded by pointing to a possible handball before one of Kylian Mbappé’s strikes for France.

Upamecano appears to handle before late France penalty

Social-media users have shared images in which French defender Dayot Upamecano appears to handle the ball in the lead-up to Les Bleus’ third goal, which levelled the final at 3-3 late in extra time.

After Upamecano jumps for a Kingsley Coman corner, the ball drops to Mbappé on the edge of the Argentina box. His shot is blocked by Gonzalo Montiel’s arm, leading referee Szymon Marciniak to award a spot-kick to France – a decision that was upheld by video assistant referee Tomasz Kwiatkowski, despite what seems to be a French infraction moments earlier.

Mbappé converted the spot-kick – his second penalty of the match – to complete the first World Cup final hat-trick since 1966.

Should Argentina’s third have counted?

Despite Mbappé’s historic treble, Argentina were crowned world champions at Lusail Stadium, the South Americans beating France 4-2 on penalties after a thrilling final had finished all square.

However, complaints coming out of France say Argentina should not have taken the lead minutes before Mbappé netted for a third time.

Early in the second half of extra time, Messi’s close-range shot gave Lionel Scaloni’s men a 3-2 advantage – but as the forward prepared to shoot, some members of the Argentinian bench could be seen encroaching on the playing surface in anticipation of a goal.

According to the laws of the game, the referee should disallow a goal if an extra person was on the pitch when it went in, as long as that individual is “a player, substitute, substituted player, sent-off player or team official of the team that scored the goal”.

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