UEFA referees' chief confirms VAR cleared decision to deny Scotland penalty

VAR did check and clear the decision not to award Scotland a penalty in their
decisive Euro 2024 group game against Hungary, UEFA referees’ chief Roberto
Rosetti has said.

Scotland felt they should have been awarded a spot-kick when Stuart Armstrong was challenged by defender Willi Orban, but their appeals were waved away by Argentinian referee Facundo Tello.

Rosetti said on Friday that the VAR had looked at the incident and decided Armstrong had moved towards the defender and drawn contact.

Hungary went on to win the match 1-0, a result which eliminated Scotland from the tournament.

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke said it was “100 per cent” a penalty and questioned the purpose of VAR “if they are not going to come in for something like that”.

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Scotland manager Steve Clarke was left questioning the point of VAR after Stuart Armstrong was not given a penalty during their 1-0 defeat to Hungary

Rosetti was asked about the incident at a referees’ briefing on Friday and said: “This was a very, very tough match with a couple of controversial incidents. There was one in the 68th minute where there was a possible penalty, because John McGinn was pulling the opponent’s shirt.

“Then there was the incident at minute 79. The attacker Armstrong was in front of the Hungarian (Orban). If you watch it from the camera behind, there was movement of the attacker towards the Hungarian.

“The VARs are checking everything, the VAR checked this situation. They decided that this was just a physical contact trying to challenge the defender.”

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Kris Boyd says he didn’t understand how Scotland were not awarded a penalty kick in their match against Hungary

Rosetti would not be drawn on whether, in his view, the decision was the correct one.

Rosetti did confirm that Tello has been appointed as a fourth official for Saturday’s last-16 match between Switzerland and Italy.

Dean: I’m astounded penalty wasn’t given

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Former referee Mike Dean was surprised that Scotland were denied a ‘clear penalty’ following Willi Orban’s challenge on Stuart Armstrong.

Former Premier League referee Mike Dean told Sky Sports News:

“I was a bit surprised if I was being honest, there was a bit of a tangle at the start but it’s a clear foul, a clear knee on the back of the calf.

“I thought the referee was going to give a foul in real time, it just felt like it to everyone watching the game. I was even more surprised the VAR didn’t get involved.

“I think the VAR would have got involved, he’s probably looked at it and the referee’s given some kind of explanation, maybe a tangle of legs or the attacker’s instigated the contact.

“But whatever way you look at it, it’s a clear penalty. They would have looked at it, and the VAR just agreed with the referee – wrongly in my opinion, in everyone’s opinion by the sounds of it.

“Scotland defended well and had chances. If they went 1-0 up, I couldn’t see Hungary scoring a goal with how they defended for the rest of the game.

“It’s just one of those things. I was astounded it wasn’t given. The referee’s probably seen a tangle, but if I was an attacker and I get across a defender and feel contact, you expect a penalty to either be given by the referee, the assistant or by VAR.

“The referees are at that tournament for a reason, they’re the best in Europe or in South America in his case. You’re there to make the big calls, guys have made big calls all competition; this is the first one, apart from Anthony Taylor’s against France on Friday, where we’re talking about the referee and the VAR.”

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