England’s strong start to their World Cup opener against Tunisia was ruined 35 minutes in after Kyle Walker was whistled for a foul in the box on Fakhreddine Ben Youssef.
With a cross coming into the box, the Manchester City defender threw his arm up and caught the Tunisia attacker in the face, with Ben Youssef immediately going to ground.
The referee didn’t hesitate to point to the spot, and Ferjani Sassi buried the ensuing penalty to make it 1-1.
Was Walker the victim of a soft penalty call or was he, as some on social media claim, “brainless”?
As always, there was plenty of debate.
Soft penalty! Yes
Can you give? Yes
Walker silly right there? Yes
Why he didn’t jus head the ball away? Don’t know
— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) June 18, 2018
#WorldCup Walker was guessing where the #TUN player was.
Classic penalty though
— Stewart Weir (@sweirz) June 18, 2018
My timeline full of people saying no penalty? Come on… #WorldCup
— David Meyler (@DavidMeyler7) June 18, 2018
Never a penalty. #Walker used his arms to stop the forward getting a run on him. That’s the standard of refereeing so far in the #WorldCup
— Stephen Warnock (@StephenWarnock3) June 18, 2018
Say what you will about it being a soft penalty to award, but Kyle Walker is utterly brainless to put his arm out like that. Needless.
— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) June 18, 2018
The softest of pens #TUNENG
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) June 18, 2018
Pure stupidity from Kyle Walker. Brainless
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) June 18, 2018
It was a penalty. Hard to see what Walker was doing there swinging his arm like that. Referee had a good, clear view and stopped in his tracks to point to the spot. @MirrorFootball
— Darren Lewis (@MirrorDarren) June 18, 2018
This is honestly one of the most Tottenham things I’ve ever seen.
You can take Walker out of Tottenham but not the Tottenham out of Walker.
— Becky (@becksthfc) June 18, 2018
I mean, what is Walker thinking there? Such a ridiculous foul to give away when the team is incredibly comfortable. #worldcup
— Andrew Gaffney (@GaffneyVLC) June 18, 2018
England players looking at Kyle Walker like… #ENG #ENGTUN #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/iovcOdyysI
— Footy Humour (@FootyHumour) June 18, 2018
I don’t know how Walker’s foul there was Sterling’s fault, but I’m sure we can blame him somehow.
— Sam Kelly (@HEGS_com) June 18, 2018
Soft or not, stupidity from Walker.
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) June 18, 2018
Despite a number of good chances to add another goal, England went into half-time level at 1-1.