Denzel Dumfries of Holland makes a foul on Harry Kane  [1296x729]
Denzel Dumfries of Holland makes a foul on Harry Kane [1296x729] (Credit: Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Like smoke coming from the Vatican The history -- and future -- of the grant of rights

We're analysing every VAR decision made throughout all 51 games at Euro 2024. 

After each game, we take a look at the major incidents to examine and explain the process in terms of VAR protocol and the Laws of the Game. 

Total overturns: 25 Rejected overturns: 0

Leading to goals: 9 Leading to disallowed goals: 12 Penalties awarded: 8 (2 missed) • For holding: 0 • For handball: 3 • For a foul: 4 • On position: 1 Penalties canceled: 1 Penalty retakes: 1 Rejected penalties: 0 Goals ruled out for offside: 8 Goals after incorrect offside: 1 Goals ruled out for handball: 2 Goals after incorrect handball: 1 Goals ruled out for a foul: 1 Goals ruled out for encroachment: 1 Red cards: 1 Mistaken identity yellow card: 1

July 10: Netherlands 1-2 England Possible penalty: Dumfries challenge on Kane

What happened: England were on the attack in the 14th minute with Harry Kane attempting a shot from a bouncing ball that was hit over the bar. He was caught by Netherlands defender Denzel Dumfries after releasing the shot, and went down in pain. Referee Felix Zwayer pointed for a goal kick, but after a few moments it became clear the VAR was checking for a possible penalty.

VAR decision: Penalty, scored by Kane. 

VAR review: There's an unwritten law in football that if a player manages to complete a shot on goal and is then caught by a defending player, there shouldn't be a penalty. So why is that? Mainly it's because the attacking team cannot lose out on anything because of the challenge -- the shot has been released and the move is over. 

It's seems odd, because often in this situation we'd say "but that's a foul anywhere else on the pitch." But make no mistake, there's another unwritten law that the threshold is far higher on a penalty providing a shot on goal vs. a free kick in an area that isn't immediately dangerous. 

So, how did England get a penalty in this situation?

It's a very harsh intervention by the VAR, Bastian Dankert. It's his ninth game of the tournament, far more than any other video assistant. He has clearly earned a reputation within UEFA as its most trusted VAR throughout the tournament. 

So, why has Dankert advised a penalty? He has taken the nature of Dumfries' challenge, leading with the studs as opposed to making an attempt to kick through the ball, as being reckless -- which is why the Netherlands' player was booked. And that's the one area where a defender catching an attacker after a shot can be seeing as a penalty -- when it's reckless or dangerous. 

Can you see why this might be a penalty? Yes. Does this reach UEFA's high threshold for a clear and obvious error for a VAR intervention? No. You can only think Kane's reaction, going down in pain, persuaded the VAR.

And in UEFA competition you will almost never see a VAR intervention rejected at the monitor by the referee. 

July 5: Spain 2-1 Germany Possible penalty: Handball by Cucurella

What happened: Musiala attempted a shot on goal in extra time in the 105th minute from outside the area, which was blocked by Cucurella. Germany's players appealed for a penalty for handball, but referee Anthony Taylor waved away the appeals. The VAR, Stuart Attwell, checked for a possible spot kick.

VAR decision: No penalty.

VAR Review: We've had two situations in successive games with Germany, both which had Attwell as the VAR. One resulted in a penalty, the other didn't. So what's the difference, and why? It's where we've got to in the modern game. When is the ball hitting the arm "handball," and when isn't it?

Let's cover the first one in the round of 16, when Denmark's Joachim Andersen was penalised when the ball touched his arm from a David Raum cross.

UEFA says that if the arm is in a raised position (or horizontal) creating a barrier to stop the ball, that's not explainable by body position, then the referee and/or VAR should advise a spot kick. If UEFA didn't believe this was a correct decision, Attwell wouldn't be in the video chair for the quarterfinal game.

So what of Cucurella? 

In his pre-tournament briefing, Roberto Rosetti, UEFA's head of referees, gave specific examples of handball penalties -- for and against. Rosetti showed a clip of the ball hitting a defender's arm from a shot on goal. The arm was in a vertical position, close to the body.

Rosetti said: "Not every touch of arm, hand is a penalty. We want to consider the movement of the players. Biomechanical movements. You know, this is a clear situation. This is never a penalty."

The example given was very close to the Cucurella incident. While handball in UEFA competitions remains more strict, it has tried to give at least some more leeway to defenders so they don't need to have their hand behind their back.

So UEFA says that a defender in a standing position when the ball hits their arm at or close to their side, in position vertically, and/or with the arm behind the line of the body, it should not be punished. That Cucurella was bringing his arm in is a factor, as that's deemed to be removing a possible barrier (though you could be deemed to be doing that in a deliberate handball action.)

The problem? The ball hitting the arm of Andersen from fairly close range, with minimal contact, when in a running motion, seems less acceptable than giving a penalty against Cucurella for stopping a shot on goal.

But, like it or not, in both instances the decision has been given as UEFA expects.

July 2: Romania 0-3 Netherlands Possible offside: Gakpo when scoring

What happened: Cody Gakpo believed he had scored his second goal of the game for Netherlands in the 63rd minute. Jerdy Schouten crossed in from the right, with the ball deflecting off the thigh of Donyell Malen before it fell to the Liverpool forward to score from close range.

VAR decision: Goal disallowed.

VAR review: It seemed a simple offside for semiautomated technology, but it did take over a minute for the VAR to give the decision. 

June 30: England 2-1 Slovakia Possible offside: Foden when scoring

What happened: Phil Foden thought he had put England in the lead in the 50th minute when scoring from a pass from Kieran Trippier -- but it appeared he was just ahead of the ball and the last defender. 

VAR decision: Goal disallowed.

VAR review: An easy offside decision, with or without semiautomated technology. Foden appeared to be offside from the first replay, and that was confirmed by the VAR.

June 29: Germany 2-0 Denmark Possible offside: Delaney on Andersen goal

What happened: Denmark took the lead in the 48th minute when Joachim Andersen swept home from inside the area, but as the players celebrated, a check was ongoing for a possible offside. 

VAR decision: Goal disallowed.

VAR review: We've already seen one marginal offside decision with the semiautomated technology, though in the case of Romelu Lukaku's goal, he did have part of his foot, knee and head in front of the last defender. The decision to disallow Andersen's goal was a return to toenail offsides -- with Thomas Delaney the offending player after a flick on by Andreas Christensen.  

With the old offside tech being used in most domestic leagues last season, this goal would have stood due to the 5-centimetre margin of error built into it. But semiautomated offside, which is considered to be far more accurate, does not. 

Some will say offside is offside, others will say having a toe in front of the last defender is no advantage (though this isn't a consideration in the law, only the position of the body). Yet when the other domestic leagues bring in semiautomated offside -- the Premier League and LaLiga will do so next season -- we'll see goals disallowed for situations like this.

Possible penalty: Handball by Andersen

What happened: Seconds after Denmark had their goal disallowed, Germany went on the attack and David Raum attempted a cross into the box, which hit Andersen. Referee Michael Oliver ignored the penalty claims for handball by Raum, and after Andrich shot wide it was looked at by the VAR, Stuart Attwell.

VAR decision: Penalty; scored by Kai Havertz.

VAR review: Handball is one of the most controversial aspects of the modern game, especially within competitions that apply it strictly to the letter of the law. 

In the Premier League, referees are told to be more lenient and give more consideration to proximity and the natural movement of the body. Yet when Oliver and Attwell referee in UEFA competitions, they have to adhere to the stricter protocols. UEFA says that if the arm is away from the body and raised in a way that creates a barrier to the ball, then a penalty should be awarded. But when is an arm a barrier? And how can the arm be kept close to the body when a player is running?

We have a comparison across competitions, too. In April, Attwell was on VAR duty for Everton's controversial 2-0 win at home to Nottingham Forest -- with the away side adamant they should have had three penalties, including one for handball by Ashley Young. There were similarities to the Anderson handball -- the cross was hit from close range, and Young was in a running motion to make a block. The small difference was that Anderson had his arm in an upward position, creating that barrier effect, while Young's was pointing downward. 

We can also look to a handball penalty given against France defender Dayot Upamecano against Poland at the World Cup, with FIFA applying a similar handball interpretation. Upamecano's arm is in a very similar position to Anderson's, and proximity was the same, too.

This was a harsh decision against Denmark, but UEFA will expect a penalty to be given.  Yet it's always going to be difficult for supporters to take into account the subjective differences in what has become a very complicated law.

Attwell continues to come in for criticism at this tournament, yet UEFA appoints him to the biggest matches. It tells you that UEFA believes the decision to book Rodri against Croatia, and not upgrade to red, was correct; he was then given France vs. Netherlands. In the second game, Attwell supported a subjective offside against Denzel Dumfries, and he was appointed to this round-of-16 fixture. 

June 26: Georgia 2-0 Portugal Possible penalty: Challenge by Silva on Lochoshvili

What happened: Georgia were on the attack, and as Luka Lochoshvili tried to move into the area, he went down when going past António Silva. Referee Sandro Schärer waved off the penalty appeals, and play continued.

VAR decision: Penalty; scored by Georges Mikautadze.

VAR review: It's the kind of VAR penalty that annoys so many fans, when an attacker goes to ground theatrically from minimal contact. 

Silva did touch the top of Lochoshvili's boot, but there wasn't enough in it to make him go down the way he did. The approach to VAR on such challenges differs greatly across leagues, with LaLiga giving many of these "soft" VAR penalties, while in the Premier League the video assistant is instructed to look for contact with a consequence. In other words, did the challenge really cause the attacker to go down?

The VAR, Fedayi San, believed that there was enough, but it feels like the kind of decision that's far removed from the original intention of VAR -- to correct clear and obvious errors. 

June 26: Slovakia 1-1 Romania Possible penalty: Position of foul by Hancko on Hagi

What happened: Referee Daniel Siebert awarded a free kick to Romania on the edge of the box when Ianis Hagi was brought down by Dávid Hancko. The VAR, Bastian Dankert, checked the foul and its position.

VAR decision: Penalty; scored by Razvan Marin.

VAR review: There were two contact points on Hagi, the first foot-on-foot just outside the area, and then shin-on-shin within it. 

The VAR took quite a while to assess the nature of the challenge and where the contact that caused the foul took place.

As the referee gave the foul for the second contact, it becomes a factual review on position, so he doesn't need to go to the monitor to change his decision -- it's advised by the VAR. 

If the referee had given the free kick off the first contact, he would have been required to go to the monitor to give the penalty as the VAR would have been changing a subjective call.

June 25: France 1-1 Poland Possible penalty: Upamecano challenge on Swiderski

What happened: Karol Swiderski took control of the ball in the 74th minute close to the penalty spot, and went to ground under a challenge from Dayot Upamecano. Referee Marco Guida signalled for the Poland player to get up, and France launched a counter attack which resulted in Kylian Mbappé firing straight at goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski. However, the VAR then told the referee to stop play for a review. 

VAR decision: Penalty; Robert Lewandowski effort saved by Maignan.

VAR review: Upamecano clearly kicked the foot of Swiderski just as he was in the process on controlling the ball, and it was an easy intervention for the VAR, Massimiliano Irrati.

Possible penalty retake: Encroachment by Maignan

What happened: Robert Lewandowski stepped up to take the penalty, but saw it saved by Mike Maignan. The loose ball was knocked behind for a corner, but before play restarted the VAR had identified that the goalkeeper was off his line -- so it had to be retaken.

VAR decision: Penalty retake, scored by Lewandowski.

VAR review: A goalkeeper must have one foot on or above the goal-line at the point the penalty is kicked. Even though Lewandowski stuttered in his run up, baiting the goalkeeper into moving early, this isn't taken into account as it's legal.

June 25: Netherlands 2-3 Austria Possible no handball: Depay when scoring

What happened: Memphis Depay scored what he thought was a 75th-minute equaliser for Netherlands, only for referee Ivan Kruzliak to rule it out for handball. The VAR began a lengthy review. 

VAR decision: Goal.

VAR review: The referee thought the ball had come off Depay's arm before he scored, but replays very clearly showed the striker had controlled the ball with his chest. 

The mystery is why it took the VAR, Marco Fritz, so long -- 2 minutes and 18 seconds -- to advise the goal should be allowed. 

Added to that, as a clear factual review about the ball touching the arm of a goal scorer, it shouldn't have needed the referee to go to the monitor to give the goal.

June 24: Croatia 1-1 Italy Possible penalty: Handball by Frattesi

What happened: Andrej Kramaric tried a shot on goal in the 52nd minute, which was blocked by Davide Frattesi. The Croatia attacker immediately appealed for a penalty for handball, but referee Danny Makkelie wasn't interested. Play continued while it was checked by the VAR, Rob Dieperink.

VAR decision: Penalty; Luka Modric effort saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

VAR review: A classic modern handball penalty, with Frattesi's hand being raised above his shoulder and away from the body when it was hit by the ball. 

Even though the shot from Kramaric came from close proximity, this is always likely to result in a spot kick.

June 23: Switzerland 1-1 Germany Possible foul: Musiala before Andrich goal

What happened: Robert Andrich fired Germany into the lead in the 17th minute with a shot from outside the area that caught out Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer. However, as the celebrations died down it became clear the VAR was checking for a possible foul in the buildup. 

VAR decision: Goal disallowed.

VAR review: When the ball was first played into the area, Michel Aebischer cleared ahead of a challenge from Germany forward Jamal Musiala. Shortly afterward, the ball was worked to Andrich to shoot to score. 

But Musiala had caught Aebischer after the ball had gone and the VAR, Massimiliano Irrati of Italy, quickly sent his compatriot Daniele Orsato to the monitor to cancel the goal. 

Surprisingly, it took Orsato a few replays to be convinced he'd made an error, but it was a clear missed foul.

June 22: Belgium 2-0 Romana Possible offside: Lukaku when scoring

What happened: Romelu Lukaku scored Belgium's second goal, or so he thought, in the 63rd minute after being played through the centre by Kevin De Bruyne. However, there was a check for a possible offside.

VAR decision: Goal disallowed.

VAR review: It's the tightest offside we've seen yet, and it shows the trade-off between quicker decisions and more marginal calls. 

It took only 46 seconds to disallow the goal with semi-automated technology, far quicker than the manual method currently being used by most top leagues. Yet there's a tolerance level of around 5 centimetres in the older tech, due to possible inconsistencies in application, which we don't have with semi-automated. So it's possible that different outcomes could have been reached on an offside as tight as this. 

Yet if this tech is indeed more accurate, it should be trusted to make close decisions. That, of course, doesn't mean the images will be palatable to many fans.

Lukaku's toe, the edge of his knee and the very top of his upper arm were shown to be offside. On the arm, the measurement point is the circumference of the arm level with the armpit -- it's not and never has been the bottom of the sleeve. With the older tech, this was very hard to apply consistently -- but semi-automated pinpoints it precisely. 

June 22: Georgia 1-1 Czechia Possible handball: Hlozek when scoring

What happened: Czechia went into the lead in the 23rd minute when Adam Hlozek bundled the ball home from close range. But as the midfielder turned away to celebrate, the Georgia defenders appealed in unison for handball, and it was checked by the VAR -- Marco Fritz of Germany.

VAR decision: Goal disallowed.

VAR review: This was almost so fortunate for Czechia, and then ended up being most unfortunate. 

Hlozek's shot was saved by Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili, with the ball rebounding back off the face of Hlozek and into the net. However, the VAR confirmed the appeals of the Georgia players as the ball came off Hlozek's arm before it went into the goal.

If the ball touches the goal scorer's arm, even if accidental, then it must be disallowed. It did take 1 minute and 35 seconds to rule it out, even though the touch on the arm was quite apparent on the initial replays. 

Possible penalty: Handball by Hranác

What happened: Georgia were on the attack in first-half stoppage time, with Guram Kashia seeing his effort saved by Czechia goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, we learned that there was a VAR check ongoing for a possible handball by Robin Hranác. 

VAR decision: Penalty, scored by Georges Mikautadze.

VAR review: It's one of those VAR interventions that barely anyone would have picked up in live play -- Georgia's Lasha Dvali, the closest player to the incident, was the only one to appeal for the penalty -- yet when you see what the video referee was looking at, it's always likely to be a spot kick. 

Hranác had his right arm fully extended away from his body and it interfered with the path of the ball. UEFA is very strict on handball and would always expect a VAR intervention in such a case.

June 21: France 0-0 Netherlands Possible goal: Dumfries given offside on Simons goal

What happened: Xavi Simons scored what he thought was the opening goal for Netherlands in the 69th minute. However, while the players were celebrating referee Anthony Taylor was discussing the goal with his assistant, and it was disallowed for offside.

VAR decision: No goal.

VAR review: This all comes down to the nuances of the offside law and when a player in an offside position is interfering with an opponent.

Simons struck a first-time shot which arrowed into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal. All good so far.

However, Denzel Dumfries was stood in an offside position between goalkeeper Mike Maignan and the path of the ball.

Would Maignan have saved the shot? That's not a consideration for the officials; there's no decision about a keeper's ability. What the officials have to ask themselves is whether Dumfries had an impact on Maignan, and if that affected his decision not to make a dive to attempt the save. Would the keeper have had to dive through the Dutch player to get to the ball? It's without doubt a fair assessment considering Dumfries' position. 

It was quite an easy call to rule out the goal. So the truly controversial part is why it took the VAR, Stuart Attwell, and his assistants from Germany and Switzerland so long to support the on-field decision: 2 minutes and 47 seconds after Taylor blew his whistle for the offside. It is the longest VAR review of the tournament. It should have been a quick check and complete -- which would have made it clearer the on-field call was indeed correct.

If it hadn't been given by Taylor and his assistant, then a lengthy VAR check was far more understandable and the goal may have stood, as the interference is a subjective call.

It must be remembered the referee will only be sent to the monitor to change his decision, not just to confirm it. 

While the Dutch might feel aggrieved, they benefited in slightly more controversial circumstances at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In the group stage fixture, Ecuador thought they had equalised on the stroke of half-time through Pervis Estupiñán, but the goal was ruled out on the field for offside against Jackson Porozo. He also stood close to the goalkeeper in between him and the path of the ball -- yet Andries Noppert had already dived in the opposite direction. On-field decision, supported by the VAR.

Passive offside decisions, when the offending player doesn't touch or attempt to play the ball, are always the most controversial. But what's controversial and what the law intends don't marry up.

June 18: Portugal 2-1 Czechia Possible offside: Ronaldo on Jota goal

What happened: It looked like Diogo Jota had scored a 87th-minute winner for Portugal, but there was an offside check against Cristiano Ronaldo.

VAR decision: Goal disallowed.

VAR review: When João Cancelo crossed into the area, half of Ronaldo's body was in front of the last defender, Tomás Holes. Ronaldo's header hit the post, with Jota firing home on the follow-up.

It took 48 seconds from the goal being scored to the VAR ruling it out through the semiautomated offside technology -- so quick that the television broadcast was still going through the replays when the referee blew the whistle.

However, don't expect to see decisions made quite so quickly in the domestic leagues. While this technology itself is made by Kinexon, the centre-mounted sensor inside the ball was developed and patented by Adidas -- the ball provider for both FIFA and UEFA.

It means that the kick point still needs to be verified, rather than being automatically detected as it is in the Euros.

The Premier League (Nike this season, Puma from 2025-26), LaLiga (Puma), the Bundesliga (Derbystar), Serie A (Puma) and Ligue 1 (Kipsta) do not use Adidas, so the method of suspending the chip in the ball would need to be licensed, or a completely different method developed. Perhaps as three of the top leagues will all have a Puma ball from 2025-26, we might eventually see a solution. However, there is also an additional cost to permanently install antennas around each pitch.

June 18: Turkey 3-1 Georgia Possible offside: Yildiz when scoring

What happened: Turkey thought they had a second goal in the 27th minute when Kenan Yildiz netted from close range, but there was a check for offside. 

VAR decision: Goal disallowed.

VAR review: Arda Güler broke down the right flank and played a pass across the edge of the six-yard box. At this point, Yildiz may well have been onside. However, it was helped on at the near post by Orkun Kökçü, and at that point half of Yildiz's right foot was in front of the ball.

June 17: Belgium 0-1 Slovakia Possible handball: Openda in buildup to Lukaku goal

What happened: Romelu Lukaku bagged an 86th-minute equaliser when he swept home a shot after good work by Loïs Openda, who cut the ball back for the striker to score. As soon as the ball hit the back of the net Slovakia defender Denis Vavro appealed for handball, and as the Belgium players raced away to celebrate, the VAR, Bastian Dankert of Germany, began a check.

VAR decision: Goal disallowed. 

VAR review: It's the kind of handball in the buildup to a goal which you may not see in the Premier League, but is always likely to be penalised in UEFA competition which has a much stricter interpretation. 

As Openda wasn't the goal scorer, the VAR and the referee, Turkey's Halil Umut Meler, have to judge it to be a deliberate act. 

Openda was attempting to hold off Vavro and his fingers brushed the ball as his hand came down. Some will feel the movement of the arm is deliberate, but many others will believe it was the natural movement of his body and should never result in a VAR review. 

It's not the kind of decision anyone really expected VAR to be making when it was introduced, but UEFA will insist on its guidelines being applied in these cases. But it does leave a bad taste.  

UEFA also got the chance to show its new "snicko" feature for the first time, which uses a "heartbeat" line to prove the ball, which has a chip inside it, has been touched by the hand. It was expected this would be used for a player who had scored a goal, rather than a possible deliberate handball in the buildup. If you need "snicko" to prove the handball, is it really that consequential to the goal?

Possible offside: Lukaku when scoring

What happened: Belgium scored in the 56th minute when Lukaku tapped home from close range after Amadou Onana headed back across goal. While Belgium celebrated it was clear that the VAR would need to complete an offside check. 

VAR decision: Goal disallowed.

VAR review: The handball wasn't the first heartbreak for Lukaku in this game, with the striker having two goals ruled out by the VAR.

For this earlier incident, half of his body was in front of the ball as it was headed by Onana.

While Lukaku was in front of the last defender, the goal would have counted if he'd been behind the ball.

June 16: Netherlands 2-1 Poland Mistaken identity: Wrong yellow card for Reijnders

What happened: Poland's Sebastian Szymanski was fouled in the 15th minute, with referee Artur Soares Dias showing the yellow card to Tijjani Reijnders.

VAR decision: Yellow card switched to Joey Veerman.

VAR review: It's very rare we see a VAR intervention for mistaken identity, but video referee Tiago Martins quickly stepped in to tell the referee he'd booked the wrong player, and the sanction was switched. 

June 15: Switzerland 3-1 Hungary Possible onside: Duah when scoring

What happened: Kwadwo Duah thought he had given Switzerland the lead in the 12th minute, running through the middle to score from Michel Aebischer's pass. However, the assistant raised his flag for offside as soon as the ball hit the back of the net.

VAR decision: Goal

VAR review: After semiautomated offside was used to disallow Germany's goal against Scotland, this time it corrected an error to disallow one as Hungary defender Milos Kerkez was behind Duah.

It took 55 seconds from the moment the ball hit the back of the net to the referee signalling the goal. That seems quite long, as Duah appeared to be clearly onside from the first replay. But this technology is still in its infancy, and a VAR is not going to immediately trust it if no offside has been detected. In these early stages, at least, every decision has to be verified -- although it's much quicker as the VAR has no manual role in determining the positions of the players relative to each other. 

June 15: Spain 3-0 Croatia Possible red card: Rodri challenge on Petkovic

What happened: Croatia were awarded a penalty in the 78th minute when Rodri fouled Bruno Petkovic, who seemed certain to score. Referee Michael Oliver showed the Spain player a yellow card with the VAR, Stuart Attwell, checking both the spot kick and a possible red card.

VAR decision: Penalty stands; Petkovic effort saved by Unai Simón.

VAR review: Rodri's tackle feels like one that should result in a red card, and it certainly has in past seasons. Yet the IFAB, football's lawmakers, have a dislike for a red card where a player has made a normal football action in relation to an opponent. So much so that last year the law for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO) was relaxed further.

It now says that where a defending player denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by committing an offence that was an attempt to play the ball or a challenge for the ball inside the penalty area then it should be treated as unsporting behaviour and the player only booked. 

It means that pretty much any challenge with the feet inside the box will now be considered unsporting behaviour rather than DOGSO. If the ball is in the vicinity of where the challenge is made, it is likely to be considered a challenge for the ball.

A player having "no possibility to play the ball" still exists in law, but it would have to be exceptionally cynical to qualify for a red card, which is essentially reserved for "holding, pulling, pushing." 

Two seasons ago this would be a red card, now it's not so clear-cut. 

You could also argue the penalty itself was soft, as Petkovic went down theatrically, but once given it won't be overturned. 

Possible encroachment: Perisic on Petkovic goal

What happened: Petkovic stepped up to take the penalty, but it was saved by goalkeeper Simón. The loose ball ran for Ivan Perisic, who squared for Petkovic to tap home at the second attempt. While the players celebrated, Attwell checked for encroachment. 

VAR decision: Goal disallowed.

VAR review: While the goalkeeper was stepping forward, he had one foot level with the goal line, so it was a legal save. 

Perisic, however, was encroaching -- which is penalised by the VAR if it has a material impact on the outcome. As Perisic created the goal for Petkovic, it's clear that it did.

There's been a change to the protocol as of this summer. Previously, if any Spain player was encroaching too, then it would be a retake regardless of their involvement in the rebound action. It just so happens that in this case, Spain's defenders were incredibly disciplined and not one had entered the box early.

Now, the encroaching defender(s) must have a material impact too. For instance, attempting to challenge Perisic or Petkovic as they played the ball. 

It means an attacking team cannot gain from inconsequential encroaching from the defending team when a penalty has been missed. It was providing a second chance at a penalty, with the attacking team getting a benefit from their own encroachment. 

June 14: Germany 5-1 Scotland Possible VAR overturn: Penalty for foul by Christie on Musiala

What happened: Referee Clément Turpin gave the hosts a penalty in the 25th minute for a foul by Ryan Christie on Jamal Musiala on the edge of the box. The VAR, Jérôme Brisard, came into action to check the decision.

VAR decision: Penalty cancelled.

VAR review: It's the point of contact of the foul that determines where the offence has taken place, so an attacker can have part of their body inside the area and not win a penalty.

While there was also contact by Kieran Tierney on Musiala's left foot, which was inside the area, the referee had awarded it for Christie's challenge on the Germany forward's right foot, which was outside the box. 

It was quick and efficient for the VAR to tell Turpin to change his decision to a free kick. The referee didn't have to go to the monitor for this as it was a factual decision based on position. If the VAR were questioning the foul, that would have been subjective and the referee would have had to make it. 

It was also the first time fans in the stadium were provided with the same information offered to broadcasters, with the reason for the VAR decision displayed on the big screen. However, unlike other competitions, UEFA has decided against a referee announcing it over the public address system. 

Possible penalty and red card: Foul by Porteous on Gündogan

What happened: The game was in the 42nd minute when, after a scramble just outside the six-yard area, Ryan Porteous attempted to close down Ílkay Gündogan before he could shoot. Porteous clattered into the Germany captain, but referee Turpin waved away the penalty claims. As soon as the ball went out, it became clear Gündogan required treatment, and the VAR began a check. 

VAR decision: Penalty, scored by Kai Havertz, and red card for Porteous.

VAR review: Before the tournament began, referees' chief Roberto Rosetti said he expected a zero tolerance approach to challenges of this nature, which should be judged as serious foul play.

This is one of the more extreme examples, as Porteous was off the floor with both feet and caught Gündogan above the ankle.

Any tackle where a player is sliding, diving or leaping in and makes contact above the boot is likely to result in a VAR review if the referee hasn't made the correct decision to show a red card on the field. 

This is something of a double whammy for Turpin, of course, as he failed to identify the foul for the penalty, let alone the red card. 

Possible offside: Füllkrug before scoring

What happened: Niclas Füllkrug added a fifth goal for Germany in the 76th minute when firing home from close range after a cross by Thomas Müller. But a VAR check was needed. 

VAR decision: Offside.

VAR review: It was our first taste of semiautomated offside at Euro 2024, and it was a quick and seamless process. However, this was a clear offside involving two players stood close to each other. We are sure to see other decisions that take longer with this new offside technology, which will be introduced into the Premier League next season. 

Indeed, the check on Scotland's consolation goal in the 87th minute, when Antonio Rüdiger diverted the ball into his own net, took much longer. The connected ball technology can tell the VAR when the ball has been played, and whether another player if offside, yet it cannot detect which player has played the ball. So, when the ball was headed on, coincidentally, by Germany's Füllkrug in a defensive position, Scotland's Lawrence Shankland was offside but not interfering with play. So, the VAR has to check there is no offside offence against the player highlighted by the technology.