No Penalty for Scotland: UEFA Referee Chief Defends Controversial Decision

UEFA Referee Chief Defends Decision of No Penalty to Scotland

VAR decision in Scotland vs Hungary during Euro 2024 under scrutiny

The decision not to award Scotland a penalty in their final group match against Hungary at Euro 2024 has sparked significant controversy. UEFA referee’s chief Roberto Rosetti has defended the call insisting that Stuart Armstrong initiated the contact with Hungary defender Willi Orban leading to the decision to wave play on.

The incident which occurred with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game saw Armstrong go down in the box but referee Facundo Tello decided not to award a penalty. Scotland manager Steve Clarke was visibly furious as his team lost 1-0 crashing out of the tournament.

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No Penalty for Scotland: UEFA Referee Chief Defends Decision of No Penalty to Scotland

Roberto Rosetti explained that VAR thoroughly reviewed the incident and concluded that Armstrong’s actions did not merit a penalty. According to Rosetti Armstrong moved towards Orban making it a case of physical contact rather than a foul.

“This was a very tough game with also a couple of controversial incidents,” Rosetti said.

“There was one, for example, in minute 68, when there was a possible penalty because No7 of Scotland, John McGinn, was pulling the opponent’s shirt. This was one of the possible penalties.”

Rosetti further detailed the specific incident involving Armstrong saying,

“In minute 79, in the Hungary penalty area, Armstrong was in front of the Hungarian. From the behind camera, it was clear there was a movement of the attacker towards the defender. The VAR checked this situation and decided it was just physical contact. There was no intervention needed.”

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Positive Feedback on New Refereeing Directives

Despite the controversy Rosetti highlighted the overall success of refereeing and VAR decisions in the tournament. He particularly praised the new directive allowing only team captains to speak to referees which has been positively received by players and coaches alike.

“Our first feedback is extremely positive – it works,” Rosetti said.

“The referees now give information to the captain, and the captains respond positively. This change has reduced the instances of players crowding the referee.”

Rosetti confirmed that this directive would be implemented in all UEFA competitions next season including the Champions League and anticipates that other leagues will adopt the rule as well.

“We have already received requests from important national associations in Europe. This will be implemented, for sure, in all the UEFA competitions and we are happy that national associations want to follow us,” he added.

While the decision against Scotland remains a contentious topic, UEFA’s commitment to refining the use of VAR and improving communication on the field suggests a positive direction for the future of football refereeing.