Chris Sutton has accused Lionel Messi of cheating in order to win a penalty for Argentina in their vital 2-0 victory over Poland.
Chris Sutton was speaking after Messi and his side ran out a s group winners following last night's victory over Poland, despite a difficult start to the tournament.
As Argentina searched for a way to open the scoring against Poland, they were awarded a controversial penalty when Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczensy's arm hit into Messi when he was attempted to collect a cross.
After a VAR review, Argentina were awarded the penalty just before half-time to give them the opportunity to open the scoring, but the former Arsenal goalkeeper made an excellent save to deny Messi.
🇵🇱 0-0 🇦🇷
Szczęsny with a breathtaking save from Messi's penalty. Can Poland weather this Argentinian storm?
📺Watch live now on @rte2 & @rteplayer : https://t.co/JYf06cJLAe
📱Live updates: https://t.co/fXjiUrw7Ay#FIFAWorldCup #POLARG #RTESoccer pic.twitter.com/pISEONs15i
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) November 30, 2022
Chris Sutton On The Penalty
While Argentina went on to win the game and progress as group winners, Chris Sutton was extremely unimpressed with Lionel Messi's behaviour over the incident. While it didn't go on to influence the overall result and group, Chris Sutton said he couldn't understand why the referee made the decision to award the penalty.
Speaking on the Daily Mail, Chris Sutton criticised the awarding of the penalty, claiming it was given due to Messi's profile in the sport, while also taking aim at referees decisions so far in the World Cup.
"The awarding of the penalty was absolutely ridiculous. The referee didn't award it in real time, and then when he went to the monitor and awarded it. It seems like the big stars, the Messi's and Ronaldo's the referee's are bottling these decisions. Maybe they are fearful because of the repercussions.
A cheat might be strong, but if he stays down too long, I wouldn't argue with what Martin said, it was no excuse. At the time I didn't think about it because there was so much drama with the award of the penalty I was in the drama.
It was justice when Szczensy saved it, a brilliant save. I'm told he doesn't have the best record when it comes to taking penalties.
If the referee is seeing what the rest of the world is seeing, than why did he make that decision? Originally, he didn't award the penalty. It wasn't a clear and obvious error. He bottled it, it was a terrible decision."
Some very strong words from Chris Sutton on not only Messi, but the overall referring of players in this year's tournament when it comes to the officiating so far at the World Cup