Southgate, fans criticise VAR after Italy penalty

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.

While some eternally pessimistic England fans already know how their World Cup campaign is going to end.

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