Gareth Southgate slams VAR decision in England, Italy draw

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Gareth Southgate slams VAR decision in England, Italy draw

England manager Gareth Southgate has criticised the Video Assistant Referee decision to award Italy a penalty in Tuesday night’s 1-1 friendly draw at Wembley.

Jamie Vardy had put England ahead in the first half, rifling past Azzurri goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma from Jesse Lingard’s quick free kick.

The Three Lions looked on course to secure their second win of the international break, only for debutant James Tarkowski’s foul on Federico Chiesa in the area to be deemed a penalty by VAR.

Lorenzo Insigne made no mistake from the spot, rifling past goalkeeper Jack Butland three minutes from time to ensure honours even and leave Southgate bemused at the technology’s continuing issues.

“I’m glad it’s not the World Cup just yet,” the England boss told ITV Sport. “I think the ruling is ‘clear and obvious’ and it’s not. It’s one you can debate all day.

“It looks like James Tarkowski stands on him but it’s during the running process and he’s going down anyway.

“I think the referee had a good view already. I don’t think with incidents like that VAR will clear things up. An obvious handball and stuff like that then maybe, but we have to get on with it.”

England begin their World Cup campaign on June 18 against Tunisia, before taking on Panama on June 24 and Belgium four days later.