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‘VAR has to be a high level’ – Antonio Conte demands Premier League follow Italy’s lead in officiating


Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has demanded better use of video officiating in the Premier League after his side’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.

Conte took aim at VAR, calling on England to follow Italy’s example to improve standards after seeing Emerson Royal shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Gabriel Martinelli.

VAR Jared Gillett briefly checked the decision and agreed with referee Anthony Taylor’s call.

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Spurs were trailing 2-1 at that stage of the game, but five minutes after the sending off, Granit Xhaka scored Arsenal’s third to secure the win.

“In England, I have to be honest, it’s very difficult because they don’t have the same line [threshold],” said Conte in his post-match press conference.

“Sometimes you see situations that could be a red card instead, or instead a yellow card or no yellow card. They have to work a lot about this.

“In Italy, our referees, on Thursday they stay together, to work with the video to try to improve. I don’t know if they do this in England, but I think it’s a good idea.

“The level is so high and the VAR has to be a high level. For this reason, every part of this decision has to be top.”

Conte believes the decision to send Emerson off was a game-changing moment because the Italian didn’t have time to change his tactics before Arsenal struck again.

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“In this period, they scored the third goal. It was really difficult – the red card killed the game,” added Conte.

“Not because we remained with 10 men, it was a really offensive team and it took four to five minutes to make the substitutions. It made it difficult to defend.”

The score may have been 1-1 at half-time, but Conte reserved his harshest words for Tottenham’s decision-making in the first half.

“If I had to complain, it was for the first half,” Conte said.

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“We felt the possibility to win the game and we had a lot of chances to exploit much better the situations.

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“Every time we overcame the pressure we had a lot of spaces every time. We made a mistake in the last passes. For this reason, the game was imbalanced. The second half we conceded the second goal.

“We could have done much better but in every situation in every goal, but you could do much better there. After a few minutes, the red card killed the game totally. End of the game.”

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