Video Assistant Referees were once again a talking point on Monday as hosts France benefitted from a pair of reviewed calls to hold off Nigeria in their third and final group stage match of the Women’s World Cup.The hosts were held scoreless for 75 minutes on Monday before the match turned on its head as Nigeria’s Ngozi Ebere was sent off following a VAR review.Ebere’s dismissal was accompanied by a penalty, with Wendie Renard putting the spot kick wide, causing Nigeria celebrations. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Those celebrations were short-lived, as a further VAR review ruled that Chiamaka Nnadozie had come off her line prematurely, forcing a retake.Renard buried her second opportunity, giving France a 1-0 lead that would last through the 90 minutes.It wasn’t without controversy, though, as fans, pundits and former players had plenty to say about the questionable use of VAR.VAR needs to chill.— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) June 17, 2019So after years and years, I guess NOW is the time to start strictly enforcing the encroachment rule #FIFAWWC— Seth Vertelney (@svertelney) June 17, 2019Nigeria really put up a great battle! I’m sad it had to end in a controversial and unsatisfying penalty after the VAR decision. https://t.co/6QrgOsxlzB— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) June 17, 2019People talk about VAR like it’s a sci-fi horror scenario where the robots take over when in fact it’s a comedy wherein aliens/robots come to earth and obey obscure traffic bylaws that no human has ever considered.— David Rudin (@DavidSRudin) June 17, 2019The biggest question for me is: Why does VAR seem like such a shambles in the women’s World Cup when it didn’t at all in last year’s men’s World Cup?— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 17, 2019VAR is actually a French word, La Var, which means “Home-Ice Advantage” 🇫🇷— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) June 17, 2019This just in, VAR nullifies ‘99 World Cup. 🇺🇸 back to 2 stars. ⭐️⭐️Thems the new rules. I guess I’m just nostalgic for the good old days when FIFA ignored women’s soccer and didn’t give a shit about their own tournament…what’s that, they still don’t? pic.twitter.com/blseNVwDjT— Anthony DiCicco (@DiCiccoMethod) June 17, 2019VAR is making this World Cup the best drama filled movie or show I’ve seen in a long time. #FRANIG #MustSeeTV— Karina LeBlanc (@karinaleblanc) June 17, 2019The VAR official got tricked by a scam email about a prince and is trying to get revenge— Kim McCauley (@lgbtqfc) June 17, 2019
MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 29: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide takes a knee to end the College Football Playoff Semifinal against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)ESPN has released its TV ratings for Saturday night’s College Football Playoff games featuring Alabama-Oklahoma and Clemson-Notre Dame.The TV ratings are down quite a bit from last year’s College Football Playoff games, though that’s expected considering they were on New Year’s Day last season.The Orange Bowl between No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Oklahoma had a 10.4 overnight rating, while the Cotton Bowl between No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Notre Dame had a 10.3 overnight rating.News! @CFBPlayoff Semifinals Deliver Strong Ratings Once Again; Rank among Top Cable Presentations of 2018!• Orange Bowl 10.4 Overnight; Cotton Bowl 10.3 • Birmingham is Highest-Rated Market for Both; More than 50% of Market Watches Bama WinMore: https://t.co/k0EI5S9Q3S pic.twitter.com/Rx5jspoLZy— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) December 30, 2018The Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo had more on what the ratings mean:“Little clarification, the 2016 semifinals got higher rating on New Year’s Eve but that was also a Saturday. The ratings were much better than the last time the Orange and Cotton hosted and the games were played on NYE weekday. Way down from last year when games were played NYD,” he tweeted.Little clarification, the 2016 semifinals got higher rating on New Year’s Eve but that was also a Saturday. The ratings were much better than the last time the Orange and Cotton hosted and the games were played on NYE weekday.Way down from last year when games were played NYD. https://t.co/1jX5DGh2WV— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) December 30, 2018USA TODAY’s Dan Wolken had more:“Last night, ESPN did slightly better than in 2015 when the games were blowouts and were on New Year’s Eve but not quite as good as 2016 with Alabama/Washington and Clemson/Ohio St,” he tweeted.Last night, ESPN did slightly better than in 2015 when the games were blowouts and were on New Year’s Eve but not quite as good as 2016 with Alabama/Washington and Clemson/Ohio St.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) December 30, 2018More bowl games are to come on Monday and Tuesday.The national title game between Alabama and Clemson is set for Monday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. E.T. on ESPN.