Fans convinced World Cup is ‘rigged’ for Lionel Messi and Argentina after they win FOURTH penalty in six games

FANS have launched a wild theory that the World Cup is “rigged” after Argentina were awarded their FOURTH penalty of the tournament.

Lionel Messi stepped up to dispatch their spot kick against Croatia, setting his side on the way to a 3-0 victory.

ReutersLionel Messi beat Dominik Livakovic from 12 yards[/caption]

The spot kick was given after Livakovic clattered Julian AlvarezRex

The 35-year-old produced a brilliant performance, bamboozling Josko Gvardiol before setting up his side’s third.

But some fans online have cried foul play, citing the number of penalties that Argentina have been awarded during the tournament.

The Albiceleste have had four spot kicks in Qatar, three of which have been scored by Messi.

against Saudi Arabia.

He netted first in the shock loss to Saudi Arabia, missed one against Poland, but was on hand to convert from 12 yards against the Netherlands on Friday and again in the semi on Tuesday.

Of the penalty awards, the most controversial one was against Poland.

But Tuesday’s decision also sparked debate, with ITV pundits Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Ian Wright not happy with it – although former referee Peter Walton agreed with the decision.

The penalty was given after Julian Alvarez was clattered by Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

Taking to Twitter to vent their fury, some fans claimed that the tournament was being officiated in Argentina’s favour.

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Getty Images – GettyArgentina were controversially awarded a penalty against Poland[/caption]

One incorrectly tweeted: “This has to be the most rigged world cup ever. Argentina has got 5 penalties.”

While a second added: “How was that a penalty. This world cup is definitely rigged.”

Another conspiracy theorist wrote: “The whole World Cup is rigged for Messi to win it. Funny that some people still don’t believe it.”

While a further commenter huffed: “Rigged! That’s not a penalty!!!! So sick of every referee favouring Argentina / Messi in this tournament. Joke.”

After Messi’s incredible assist for Argentina’s third, another Twitter user mocked those crying foul play, writing: “I guess the third goal is Rigged too haha hahahha Messi is Goated.”

Messi will take on the winner of tomorrow’s clash between Morocco and France in Sunday’s final.

GettyMessi, 35, bamboozled Josko Gvardiol before setting up Argentina’s third[/caption]

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