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More VAR controversy as Italy awarded penalty to snatch late draw against England

James Tarkowski was deemed to have brought down Federico Chiesa.

England v Italy - International Friendly Source: Marc Atkins/Offside

England v Italy - International Friendly Source: Marc Atkins/Offside

England 1-1 Italy

GERMAN REFEREE DENIZ Aytekin was at the centre of attention as the latest disputed VAR decision allowed Italy to leave Wembley with a 1-1 draw against England.

With the hosts leading 1-0 through Jamie Vardy’s first-half goal, Aytekin appeared to be in an ideal position when Federico Chiesa was clipped in the box by debutant James Tarkowski with just five minutes remaining.

The referee initially waved away Chiesa’s claims before referring the decision to the video assistant, and then awarding a penalty.

Lorenzo Insigne slotted the spot kick past Jack Butland, ending England’s run of five straight clean sheets and ensuring a share of the spoils.

“I think the ruling is ‘clear and obvious’ and it’s not,” England boss Gareth Southgate told ITV afterwards.

It looks like James Tarkowski stands on him but it’s during the running process and he’s going down anyway. I think the referee had a good view already.

Tarkowski himself said it was “never a penalty”.

“I stood on his foot but I didn’t think a lot of it,” he told ITV.

Former England international Alan Shearer was among those to question the decision.

“Don’t talk to me about VAR!” he tweeted. “How on earth is that clear and obvious?”

Gary Lineker tweeted: “If VAR is going to turn us over, it’s better to happen now. A clear and obviously deserved victory taken away.”

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