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11th Jul 2018

England supporters fume as referee allows Croatia equaliser

The referee sent Nani off for a high boot in 2013

Darragh Murphy

The inconsistency regarding the high foot rule reared its head again.

England supporters were counting down the minutes ever since Kieran Trippier’s free-kick sailed into the back of the Croatian net after five minutes in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final.

But Croatia got themselves right back into the game as Ivan Perisic swung a boot at a cross from Sime Vrsaljko and the ball flew past Jordan Pickford in the England goal.

It was a brilliant finish from the Inter winger but plenty of English supporters were furious after watching replays of the equaliser.

Perisic beat Kyle Walker to the ball and it was suggested that the Croatia star’s foot was at a dangerous height as Walker attempted to head the cross clear.

Referee Cuneyt Cakir didn’t agree, however, and didn’t even entertain the idea of disallowing the goal.

If Cakir’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he was the official who sent off Nani for a high boot on Alvaro Arbeloa in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final Champions League match.

Ferguson raged about the decision after the last-16 defeat to Real Madrid in 2013, admitting that he felt it was “hard to keep faith” after the contentious red card.

Now while it’s impossible to say that Perisic’s foot was as high as Nani’s was five years ago, it had supporters raging about the lack of consistency from Cakir.