New footage shows the referee making contact with the Tunisia defender ahead of Socceroos striker Mitch Duke’s winning goal… and fans are rioting at the confusion
- A new camera angle shows that Tunisian midfielder Ellyes Skhiri was tripped
- Skhiri connected with World Cup debutant referee Daniel Siebert and failed to chase Australia’s counter leading to Mitchell Duke’s match winner
- Fans claim the contact has given Australia time and space for a wide-ranging attack
New footage from Australia’s World Cup victory over Tunisia shows referee Daniel Siebert making contact with midfielder Ellyes Skhiri during his desperate attempt to stop a Socceroos impending goal – as fans cry out in controversy.
Just before Mitchell Duke’s iconic header that propelled the Socceroos to a third FIFA World Cup Final win, debutant referee Siebert crossed paths with a rushing Ellyes Skhiri.
Tunisian midfielder Ellyes Skhiri brushes referee Daniel Siebert’s foot and hinders his pursuit of Australian Riley McGree
Skhiri’s left foot was hampered by Siebert’s hanging ankle, as he failed to put his leg in given the pace of the Australian counterattack.
The new angle was not seen by live viewers on Saturday night and now gives Tunisian fans an excuse to argue their defeat.
Fans against Australia say the contact with Skhiri Socceroos midfielder Riley McGree allowed him to play wide for Craig Goodwin, who in turn found a flying Mitchell Duke.
Mitchell Duke puts the ball on a string after a great header into the back left of the net against Tunisia
The Bundesliga club player went down in the center circle immediately after the collision and grabbed his leg in what was a penalty kick.
Since the vision was released, fans have taken to Twitter to share their outrage.
“Surely the game should stop and be restarted with a drop ball, just as if the ball had hit the ref?” commented one spectator.
FIFA rules require a referee to stop and start play when making contact with the ball, but nothing in the book mentions the official tackling a passing player.
Tunisian and Bundesliga midfielder Ellyes Skhiri screams for a free kick during their 1-0 loss to the Socceroos
Many fans felt the German referee was worthy of a yellow card, while proponents of the goal say Skhiri had no real chance of chasing down McGree.
Others thought Siebert was one-sided in giving time-wasting cards, and opine that he was inexperienced for the world stage.
The trip was reposted by BBC Sport on Twitter with the caption ‘REF!’, sparking debate among football legends.
Tunisia still managed to finish the game with five more shots on target than Australia.
Skhiri (L) softens it as referee Daniel Siebert checks Aissa Laidouni after a free kick was awarded
Skhiri refused to discuss the matter after the game, but believed Tunisia showed they were the ‘better team’.
Whether the foul should have been pulled out or not, Australian fans are enjoying Mitchell Duke’s class and the ravishing prospect of a final 16th birth.
Tunisia must now beat defending champion France to have any chance of progressing through the group stage.