Watch: How Video Referees Altered Course of France vs Spain

France and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann, center, at Stade de France, Paris, March 28.
France and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann, center, at Stade de France, Paris, March 28. Video technology ruled a Griezmann goal out during France's 2-0 defeat to Spain. Benoit Tessier/Reuters

If the linesman in the Stade de France on Tuesday night had failed to flag Antoine Griezmann for offside, he could have been forgiven a human error.

Griezmann, the Atletico Madrid forward, thought he had given France a 1-0 lead against Spain when he headed in Christophe Jallet’s cross on 47 minutes.

But Felix Zwayer, the referee, consulted the the video assistant referee (VAR), being trialed again in a competitive game by world football’s governing body FIFA, who found Layvin Kurzawa marginally offside when he assisted Griezmann.

Then, in the 77th minute, Gerard Deulofeu tapped in from close range to give Spain a 2-0 lead but the goal was canceled out due to offside. Zwayer went to the VAR again, who ruled that Deulofeu was onside when he scored. ITV, the British broadcaster that televised the game, estimated it took 40 seconds for Zwayer to change his decision with the help of the technology.

FIFA is trialing video assistance to check goals, penalty decisions, red card incidents and cases of mistaken identity, where a referee may have sent the wrong player off.