June 21, 2018 / 10:03 AM / 3 months ago

Dive, dive, dive! Benteke pokes fun at World Cup VAR

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Christian Benteke missed out on traveling to Russia with Belgium’s World Cup squad but he still got involved in the debate over video refereeing at the tournament — from his holiday swimming pool.

FILE PHOTO: Football Soccer - Gibraltar v Belgium - World Cup 2018 Qualifier - Algarve stadium, Faro, Portugal - 10/10/16. Belgium's Christian Benteke celebrates his goal against Gibraltar. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo

“Do we need VAR to check if this is a dive or not? #WorldCup,” the Crystal Palace striker asked on Twitter along with a video of him plunging into the water.

Then he posted: “VAR say it was a dive!” over a doctored photograph showing a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) room at the World Cup reviewing screenshots of the Belgian’s acrobatics.

It has been a painful subject for Benteke, who narrowly failed to make his country’s squad for Russia.

He was notably accused by his current club of diving to secure a stoppage-time penalty that handed Liverpool a Premier League win in March, 2016 and left Palace dangerously close to relegation.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Ed Osmond

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