Antonio Conte launched into a tirade on the use of VAR and called for it to be binned after Tottenham’s penalty was overturned against West Ham.
West Ham looked like they had conceded a penalty for a third consecutive home league match when Spurs were awarded a spot-kick in the 11th minute, only for referee Peter Bankes to overturn his original decision after a lengthy four-minute VAR delay.
The official eventually used the pitchside monitor on the advice of VAR Stuart Attwell and reversed his decision.
Spurs did go on to take the lead courtesy of a Thilo Kehrer own goal but the home side equalised 10 minutes into the second half through Tomas Soucek after the midfielder smashed past Hugo Lloris following a clever Michail Antonio flick.
West Ham boss David Moyes admitted the reversed VAR decision was “the turning point in the game” and Conte couldn’t hide his feelings of frustration with how the officials came to that decision.
Conte said: “I said to him [the referee] at the end of the first half, but with a smile and not in a problematic way, you have taken the right decision and then VAR called you. They have for sure embarrassed the referee because to make him change a right decision, I think it was really, really strange.
“But for managers and for players, I think to accept the mistake of the referee during the game is okay because a referee’s decision sometimes can be positive, sometimes can be negative. At the end of the season there is always a balance with a positive or negative situation for your team.
“Don’t forget that against Nottingham Forest and a clear situation of goal that the player and went with his hand and a clear penalty situation, red card no and today was clear because I know the rule.
“The problem is that it’s difficult to accept the decision when there are people behind the monitor with the video that they have a lot of time because they have taken a lot of time. I also listened to the whistles from the crowd because the crowd in England doesn’t like VAR and this is very, very clear. But I think they are right because if these are the decisions, it’s incredible or they don’t know the rules.
“But this is not the first time because I have seen many times a VAR situation onside, then the same situation offside in another game, but because there is one finger or the line is curved instead to say right.
“But I think that in England it is better to cut off VAR for the crowd also for us because for me, for my players, for every coach, for every player of all the clubs I think you accept the referee’s decision, positive or negative, because this is a human mistake.
“With the monitor it can be a human mistake. I’m really disappointed because under these people who stay behind the monitor they have to pay more attention. They have to study also. I don’t know. In England I’ve also spoken with other managers and no one is happy about this situation.”
The reason for the penalty being overturned was the fact that the ball hit Cresswell on the head before hitting his hand which made it hard for him to get his hand out of the way.
When asked if he agreed with that statement, Conte replied: “But he jumped and only that you are jumping and you stay in this way with your hand because you jump in this way. I understand that the ball is here but then if you open and it’s very difficult.
“The Southampton vs Man Utd game for Southampton it was really difficult to accept this decision [Scott McTominay handball appeal]. But in my opinion, you accept easily the decision of the referee, positive or negative, because these are human and in that moment the referee sees this situation. You accept but if you are behind the monitor and two or three people and you have the time to make the bad decision and honesty it’s very, very difficult.
“But maybe next time it will be good for us, but I also don’t want [this] because if you see a situation if it’s negative for my team and is clear, you have to punish.
“You have to be fair, to do the right thing. If you don’t do this with the monitor, with the time but it’s difficult.
“When I watch a game and then I see why this is onside and the other is offside. Why? But this decision moved the final result a point less, a point more.
“We accept the mistake of the referee. Honestly, I prefer the mistake of the referee. Positive or negative situation, see a penalty or he doesn’t see the penalty, okay, but come on, we continue.
“I never comment about the referee’s decision, never. But this is two clear situations. Two games in a row against Nottingham Forest and now against West Ham.
“I also spoke about the situation of another game, that is maybe not good to do this, but only for an example and to make a mistake behind the video, behind the monitor I think this is incredible, it’s incredible and it’s difficult to accept.”
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