Roy Keane, Graeme Souness in heated clash over penalty during Argentina’s World Cup game with Saudi Arabia


Roy Keane and Graeme Souness were involved in a heated clash over a contentious penalty call in Argentina’s World Cup game against Saudi Arabia.

Argentina were awarded a penalty early in the Group C contest when Leandro Paredes went to ground under contact from Saud Abdulhamid at a corner.

Abdulhamid wasn’t looking at the ball and did have his arms on Paredes, but didn’t appear to drag him down as happened to Harry Maguire from a corner in England’s win over Iran.


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Maguire did not get a penalty, but Argentina were awarded a spot-kick after the referee consulted the pitchside monitor. Lionel Messi converted to give Argentina the lead.

Souness and Keane were asked by presenter Laura Woods on ITV about the decision and whether it was the correct call given referees have been told to look out for blocking and holding without looking at the ball.

Not only did the two former midfielders not agree, but things got rather heated…

Souness: “He doesn’t know where the ball is, he’s only interested in the Argentinian player. He doesn’t know when it’s been kicked, he’s not looking, it’s a penalty for me.

Keane: “No, no, no. All this will do it encourage diving. He’s dragging him down.

Souness: “Roy, you’re not listening to what Laura said. It’s a directive from the referees.

Keane: “I listened exactly to what she said yeah.”

Souness: “This is not about opinion, that’s a fact. The guy wasn’t looking at the ball.”

Keane: “Well let me just give my opinion, that’s not a penalty.”

Souness: “This is not about our opinions, it’s about the laws of the game.”

Keane: “So what are we here for? I’m here to give my opinion. That’s not a penalty.

Souness: “The interpretation, the new law is..”

Keane: “That’s not a penalty…that’s my opinion.”

Souness: “The new law is if you’re not concentrating on…

Keane: “I’m here to give my opinion, I don’t think that’s a penalty

Souness: “I’ve heard you say it about 10 times do you want to say it again?”

Keane: “I’ll say it again, I don’t think it’s a penalty.”

Souness: “Well let someone else speak.”

Keane: “Go ahead, go ahead.”

Souness: “You’ll learn a lot more if you listen rather than talk all the time.”

Keane: “Go ahead, plenty of air time, no problem.”

Souness: “The ball comes in, he’s not looking at the ball, the directive from the referees if that’s a penalty. We have to accept that’s a penalty.

“We’ve seen a very different Argentina today, it’s not the Argentina I expected. We’ve seen a pragmatic approach, they don’t seem too intent on dominating the ball, Saudi have been physical and Argentina have another gear, they can be better than that.”

Keane: “We are going to see a record number of penalties at the World Cup.

Souness: “Thought we’d moved on from that.”

Keane: “That’s a penalty”.

A slightly sheepish looking Joe Cole was then asked for his view on the decision.

“I think it was a penalty,” said the former England winger.

Saudi Arabia scored two quick goals in the second half to take a shock lead against Argentina.

– –

To celebrate the 2022 World Cup, we have launched our new bracket game, where you can give your predictions, challenge friends and create mini-leagues.

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