Conte critical of VAR use


Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was unhappy with the way the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) was used in Wednesday’s FA Cup win over Norwich City.

The Blues defeated the Canaries on penalties in the second leg of the tie at Stamford Bridge after Jamal Lewis struck late on to cancel out the opener from Michy Batshuayi and take the tie to extra time.

Conte believes that VAR should make referees more prudent, but isn’t convinced that referee Graham Scott consulted the technology before making his decision to book Willian for simulation.

"I think that we need to improve if we want to use this new system," Conte said. "In this game, there is a situation very clear with Willian at the start of the first period of extra time.

"I think the situation was very clear. I watched it and this is a penalty. Very clear. But this is not because I'm not happy with a referee's decision. The referee took quickly a decision to book Willian. That means you don't have doubt. If you do this quickly, it means you don't have doubt.

"Instead, I repeat, if we want to improve – it's only to try and improve the system – we have to wait to check with the person who is watching the game and then, if this person is sure 100 percent that it is simulation, go and book Willian.

"Instead, I think the person watching the game, at least you must have a doubt. There is a kick to Willian and he should call the referee and tell him. Maybe it's a penalty, for me.

"For me, this is not the right solution if the referee doesn't refer a doubtful decision. The final decision stays with the referee on the pitch, not the one watching the game. But it's only because we want to try and use this new system, and this is my opinion to help the referee use this new system.

"We have been using it in Italy for six months, and you can reduce a lot of the referee's mistakes."

The match also saw Pedro and Alvaro Morata sent off for two yellow cards, ruling the Spanish duo out of their next Premier League match against Brighton and Hove Albion.

"About Pedro, if there is a dive, it's right to take a yellow card. It's the same for Morata," Conte added. "I don't want an advantage, especially if you know this system is being used.

"You can watch every situation with this situation. If someone gives a punch or an elbow, you must pay great attention. In this case, if it wasn't a penalty, it was right to give a yellow card.

"I'm not happy for the second yellow card for Morata. The first yellow card was for a doubtful situation – I didn't watch Morata's situation yet – but the second was for dissent.

"You must pay great attention. In this moment of the game, you have to pay great attention to stay calm and make the best decision."