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England boss Southgate hits out at VAR

England coach Gareth Southgate says VAR has done nothing to resolve the issue of controversial refereeing decisions, admitting he has never liked the technology.

The off-field decision-making process has come under renewed fire this week after Liverpool were denied a fair goal in their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham. 

There has been a huge fallout from the gaffe, with Reds manager Jurgen Klopp calling for the game to be replayed while the referees body, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), has announced a review into VAR.

Southgate has always been against the system and says nothing has changed from when on-field decisions were final.

“Well, all I would say is everybody used to go to the pub and moan about the ref and they still go to the pub and moan about the ref,” he said.

“So I’m not sure what we’ve resolved, really. I don’t like it, never have, so I have sort of dismissed it.

“I just was always brought up as a kid that the referee’s decision was final. You might agree or disagree but we have to get on with it.

“I didn’t ever feel we were going to resolve every issue.”

Southgate said there was unlikely to be a reversal in policy now that the system was in place.

“I think we are probably too far down the line now to go back but I didn’t like it from the off,” he said.

“Once you open up a technology opportunity, you are normally going that way and you have got to refine and improve on what happens. But yes, I don’t like it.”

Southgate, preparing for a friendly against Australia and a Euro 2024 qualifier against reigning champions Italy, said he felt sorry for fans, who are often left waiting for minutes while decisions were scrutinised.

“When I am at games I am always conscious that the only people who don’t know what is going on are the people who have paid to go,” he said. “I find that really difficult.”

He added: “The frustration, you can feel it in the stadium, you can feel the view.”


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