• World Cup 2022

Emiliano Martinez accused of ‘cheating’ in World Cup final

Emiliano Martinez, Arsenal, Aston Villa
Getty Images

The Argentina goalkeeper’s actions at the World Cup final have come under the spotlight.

Emiliano Martinez ‘cheated’ during Argentina’s World Cup final victory over France, according to Simon Jordan.

The former Crystal Palace chairman believes Martinez didn’t play fair and insists the referee, Szymon Marciniak, was wrong to allow such behavior to ‘manipulate the circumstances’.

In the final, Martinez was the hero of the shootout as Argentina won 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw with France. The Aston Villa star saved Kingsley Coman’s effort first of all. He then held on to the ball as Aurelien Tchouameni stepped up for his spot-kick and threw it away from the spot, before the Real Madrid midfielder fired wide.

Marciniak eventually did hand Martinez a yellow card when the 30-year-old attempted to approach France’s Randal Kolo Muani.

“Martinez’s actions, I thought it was cheating, the holding of the ball and throwing it the other way,” Jordan said on talkSPORT about the ex-Arsenal keeper.

“The goalkeeper’s actions, I don’t think it was gamesmanship, I don’t think it’s part of the game, I think it’s cheating. For a referee to allow the goalkeeper to manipulate the circumstances, to heighten the pressure, to increase it, I think was one of the shortcomings at that moment in time.”

Martinez, who won the Golden Glove award, will now report back to Aston Villa.

Unai Emery’s side return from the World Cup break on December 26 for a Boxing Day home game against Liverpool in the Premier League.