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Germany coach calls for ‘balance’ after World Cup penalty glut

Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg called for greater “balance” on Sunday after referees awarded penalties in all of the first eight games of the Women’s World Cup.

In about half the cases penalties were given after referees consulted the video assistant referee (VAR).

The sequence of spot-kicks only ended late on Saturday in game nine of the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Switzerland took the lead against debutants the Philippines from the spot in the fourth game of the competition after a particularly controversial VAR intervention and consequent penalty decision.

“This is definitely not a penalty in my opinion,” former Australia international Heather Garriock said on Optus Sport.

“I think that’s pretty harsh.”

Ramona Bachmann scored from the spot and Switzerland went on to win 2-0.

Ahead of Germany’s opening match against Morocco on Monday, Voss-Tecklenburg said she had told her players to be particularly wary inside the penalty box.

“I hope that we will see a balance, not only among the players but also among the responsible referees,” said the former international player.

“I have been a bit surprised that we have seen that many (penalties) in the initial games.”

The United States were awarded a penalty in the opening match of their title defence against Vietnam on Saturday following a lengthy VAR check.

Alex Morgan failed from the spot but it did not matter in the end, the Americans going on to win 3-0.

Asked by AFP afterwards about the glut of penalties and if they were being awarded too easily, US coach Vlatko Andonovski said: “I don’t know if they happen too easily or not.

“With all the cameras, with VAR and all the angles that the referees are reviewing, I’m sure they’re making the right call.”

“If it’s a foul in the box, it’s a penalty,” he added.

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