England manager Gareth Southgate expressed frustration with the Video Assistant Referee system on Tuesday after a late penalty awarded with its help cost England a friendly win over Italy.
The Three Lions were leading 1-0 thanks to Jamie Vardy’s first-half striker when referee Deniz Aytekin handed the Italians a spot-kick with just two minutes to go after consulting the VAR officials over a challenge on substitute Federico Chiesa.
Lorenzo Insigne scored from the spot to level things up, leading Southgate to criticise the decision, saying that he did not think was clear.
“I’m glad it’s not a World Cup!” Southgate said afterwards.
“I think the ruling is clear and obvious [errors] and I don’t think that was clear and obvious. It’s one you can debate forever.
“It looks like Tarkowski stands on him, but that’s in the motion of running and it looks like he was on his way down anyway.
“It’s designed to stop the deliberate handball or something like that. I think the referee had a good view.
“I don’t think with incidents like that it [VAR] is going to clear things up 100 per cent. An obvious handball or offside, things like that, but anyway we have to get on with it.
“I would prefer that the referee’s decision is final.
“If we are going to go with technology then I think it is the right thing to do. For me, the two areas are, one, only clear and obvious, otherwise it is just opinion again. And two, as we move forward, a better way of communicating with the fans in the crowd.
“When those at home have a clearer idea of what is going on than those in the stadium I am not sure that’s the right thing.”
Opinion was also divided among England fans and pundits.
— Chris Lees (@lees12) March 27, 2018
That's the problem with VAR in a nutshell, what clearly wasn't a pen in real time looked like it might be on repeated slo-mos.
— Ben Dirs (@bendirs1) March 27, 2018
If VAR is going to turn us over, it’s better to happen now. A clear and obviously deserved victory taken away.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 27, 2018
VAR worked. It was a pen. Bit unlucky but a pen. But again quite a lot to like about England after sloppy start
— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) March 27, 2018
Don’t talk to me about VAR! How on earth is that clear and obvious? #ENGITA
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) March 27, 2018
Worst VAR ive seen in the England game ruining football
— fraser aird (@FraserAird) March 27, 2018
While some eternally pessimistic England fans already know how their World Cup campaign is going to end.
It's obvious England will be dumped out of the World Cup by a controversial VAR decision
— Charlie Wyett (@CharlieWyett) March 27, 2018
Ah yes VAR already warming up to send England home after our second group game in Russia
— Proudiola (@ProudieYT) March 27, 2018
Thanks to VAR #England can now get robbed at the world cup by mistakes that have actually been reviewed, making them twice as annoying…
— Phil (@republic1) March 27, 2018