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Costa RicaCosta Rica
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 By Ian Holyman

France's Hugo Lloris and Antoine Griezmann bemoan VAR delay

France captain Hugo Lloris and forward Antoine Griezmann bemoaned the delay in video assistant referee (VAR) decisions being made during Les Bleus' 2-0 defeat to Spain in Tuesday's friendly.

German referee Felix Zwayer called on the VAR, who was situated in a TV van outside the Stade de France, to check Griezmann's goal early in the second half, which was then ruled out for offside.

Zwayer then initially chalked off Gerard Deulofeu's 77th-minute strike for offside before eventually awarding a goal after TV pictures had been reviewed.

L'Equipe reported on Wednesday the delay between the incident and the final decision being given had been 40 seconds in both cases, but the home players had felt the wait had been much longer.

"It's an evolution in our sport. I think it's a good thing because it makes the decisions fair. It can also kill the feeling after a goal, we were able to see that. The fans, the bench, the players on the pitch, we all believed it was a goal. It took a minute or so for the decision to change," goalkeeper Lloris said.

"We adapt, the referee has to adapt too. It went against us tonight, which means the feeling is a little different. It must be different for the Spanish [players]."

Antoine Griezmann's goal was eventually ruled out for offside.

The Tottenham Hotspur player added: "There's a pause, we're not used to that in football. We're instinctive. We took the ball, we wanted to play quickly. You have to wait for the decision of the referee, Spain had time to get back in position. And after that, the goal was given anyway. It's something new, and if you have to adapt to that, we'll do it."

Griezmann's 48th-minute header would have been the opening goal and was wildly celebrated by the Atletico Madrid striker, his teammates and the crowd.

Instead, it will go down in history as the first goal annulled after use of the VAR.

"There were a lot of emotions at the start, but the referee had the video, all the better for Spain, a shame for us," Griezmann said after being denied his 16th international goal.

"You have to forget about it quickly and get back into the game. It's annoying, because you have to wait to celebrate the goal, just in case. But if it helps the referee, good for him. I'm not for it or against it. If they want it, they'll use it. In any case, we'll continue playing football. In both cases, you have to play and try to win the game."

While there were two decisions that were corrected by the VAR, France felt aggrieved Zwayer's decision to award a penalty for a foul by Laurent Koscielny on Deulofeu was not reviewed.

David Silva sent Lloris the wrong way from the spot to break the deadlock on 67 minutes before Deulofeu's historic second 10 minutes later.

After making his first senior international start, Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe also felt the wait for the VAR to make a decision had been too long, even if he acknowledged the potential benefits.

"It's a good thing, it avoids injustices," the 18-year-old said. "Today, it was against us but it takes away injustices. Now, the only problem is the timing. We waited two minutes, in two minutes you cool down and you take a blow psychologically. The idea is in itself good, but based on how it was done today, I think it can be improved.

"If the decision had come after 15-20 seconds, we would have been disappointed to have conceded a goal, but we would have moved on, but it was two minutes ... I'm still for video though."

Spain ran out 2-0 winners against France on Tuesday.

La Liga president Javier Tebas hit out at Spanish Football Federation president Angel Maria Villar, expressing his surprise that the latter had requested for the VAR system to be used in Tuesday's international friendly.

Tebas, who is a strong supporter of using technology in football, tweeted: "Villar accepts VAR in a friendly game of the national team yet he denies it to La Liga, which has been requesting it for some time."

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot, meanwhile, believes the VAR would have helped the Ligue 1 giants avoid defeat against Barcelona in the Champions League earlier this month.

The France international was part of the starting XI beaten 6-1 at Camp Nou to complete a shock 6-5 aggregate defeat after a 4-0 first leg success.

"Video would have helped us against Barcelona a few weeks ago," Rabiot told journalists. "Seriously!"

Barcelona star Gerard Pique also made light of the call, joking that the officials looked more kindly on Spain because they were wearing Real Madrid's customary white, which prompted a light-hearted response from Spain teammate and Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos.

"The dressing room laughed at that," Ramos said. "The white shirt looks better on him and he doesn't know how to react to that."

ESPN FC's Adriana Garcia and Jonathan Johnson contributed to this report.

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman


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