England coach Gareth Southgate was unimpressed with the use of VAR technology as his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Italy in their international friendly at Wembley.
Jamie Vardy’s seventh international goal in the first half, following a quickly-taken free-kick by Jesse Lingard, looked to be enough to give the Three Lions a second successive victory following their win in the Netherlands on Friday.
But Italy, who failed to qualify for the World Cup but got stronger as the match wore on, levelled through Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne’s penalty three minutes from time. The spot-kick was given after a VAR review with debutant James Tarkowski being adjudged to have trod on the foot of Federico Chiesa, which ended England’s run of 10-and-a-half hours without conceding a goal.
Southgate, whose side conceded for the first time since September, said: “I’m glad it’s not the World Cup! I think the ruling is [to give decisions that are] clear and obvious – and I don’t think it’s clear and obvious. It’s one you can debate. VAR is designed to stop the deliberate handball, the controversy… I think the referee had a good view.
“For incidents like that I don’t think it’s going to clear things up 100 per cent. An obvious handball, an obvious offside, things like that, but we have to get on with it.”
England face Nigeria and Costa Rica next-up in June warm-up games before their first match, against Tunisia on 18 June.