Referee should have watched video, says Chelsea boss Conte

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte / AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says the video assistant referee (VAR) system let his team down after Willian’s penalty appeal was rejected during the FA Cup win over Norwich.

The system was being trialled for the FA Cup third-round replay.

Conte felt referee Graham Scott should have been told by the video official to watch a replay of Timm Klose’s tackle on Willian, who was booked for diving.

“If you watch the replay you see very clearly it is a penalty,” Conte said.

Video referees have the choice of telling the match official he has made a clear and obvious error, which in this instance Mike Jones, in a studio in London, did not feel was the case.

Had he ruled differently, Scott could have overturned the decision based on his word – or watched it on a screen himself.

Chelsea forwards Pedro and Alvaro Morata were sent off during extra time – before the Blues won on penalties – with both players being shown a first yellow card for diving.

But Willian’s booking was the most controversial moment.

Conte: “I think that there was a penalty – but not on Morata, on Willian.

“With Willian, the referee heard what the other referee watched and decided to continue to play. If we want to try to use this new system, it is important for the referee to wait, especially in this incident that is not so clear.

“And then when the referee that is watching had a doubt, he has to call the referee to watch and he can make a decision. The referee on the pitch has to make the decision, not one off the pitch.

“We can improve it for sure but we need to try to take the best solution. The final decision is for the ref on the pitch. Otherwise, why is there this ref?

“The mistake wasn’t of the ref on the pitch but the person watching. When you see this, you have to call the referee.

“And if you don’t want to make a decision and you have a doubt, you need to call to the ref to watch the footage and make the decision.”

Norwich manager Daniel Farke: “I don’t want to criticise the referees because they were on the other side to the incident and they were some really tough decisions to make.

“There are mistakes in football – players make them, managers make them, and referees make them. It is how it is.”

Former Newcastle and England striker Alan Shearer said: “You saw VAR work perfectly well last night [in the Leicester v Fleetwood tie] but you’ve seen now why I was so doubtful because now it is a shambles.

“We all think it is a clear and obvious penalty – and to make it worse, the referee books Willian for diving. Who on earth is looking at that screen and doesn’t think it is a penalty? That is why it is all wrong because it is someone else’s opinion.

“The referee got the one right in the second half with Pedro, but you have another ref looking at the Willian one on a TV screen, slowed down. Shambles.”

Former Aston Villa and England striker Dion Dublin: “It is a shocking decision. I don’t know how he has got it wrong. They are watching the same replays as us and it is clearly and obviously a penalty.”

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