10 things that were possibly going through Umtiti’s head when he punched the ball and gave Australia a penalty

Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

France defender Samuel Umtiti had one of the most inexplicable plays of the World Cup on Saturday when Australia crossed a ball into the French box and Umtiti, who is not a goalkeeper, punched it. With his hand. Which is not allowed in soccer.

A penalty was called, Australia’s Mile Jedinak finished, and Australia and France were tied 1-1. It ended up not mattering, as Paul Pogba scored a goal late to give France a 2-1 win, but it got us thinking: What, exactly, was Umtiti thinking?

Here are 10 possibilities:

  1. He saw Mile Jedinak walk into the saloon, heard the piano music stop, and knew what was about to go down.
  2. He remembered that his manager is Didier Deschamps.
  3. It’s a boring game. Do the wave.
  4. If France are winning, Giroud doesn’t come on. But if France aren’t winning ... *taps head* *stops tapping head* *throws hands in air*
  5. Semaphore. Message reads: “I am doing semaphore.”
  7. You know when you’re at work, right, and the end of The Breakfast Club pops into your head? That.
  8. Just setting up his second trick: a slaloming own goal past Terry Fenwick and Peter Reid.
  9. Footballers aren’t allowed to get on football. But they *are* allowed to bet on whether or not they’ll make it into Own Goals and Gaffs 14: The Regaffening.
  10. He’s just a really big fan of VAR.


France suck

Never did like the French. Contorting on the ground like they’d been hit by a baseball bat when they were barely touched. You would have thought they would have had more confidence in beating little old Australia.

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