UEFA Champions League: Antonio Conte takes aim at VAR 'damage' as tie puts Spurs' advancement in jeopardy

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte said VAR is doing "damage" to soccer after he was sent off for protesting Harry Kane's disallowed stoppage-time strike in a 1-1 draw with Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday.

Spurs looked set for the Champions League last 16 when the England captain scored in the 95th minute.

But after a review lasting over three minutes, the goal was disallowed for offside, sparking fury from Conte.

The Italian was shown a red card by Dutch referee Danny Makkelie, meaning he is likely to be banned from the touchline when Tottenham visit Marseille on Tuesday.

Conte's men still lead Group D by a point from Sporting and Eintracht Frankfurt, but all four teams in the section can still qualify. A point will be enough for Spurs in Marseille to progress.

"I think VAR is creating a lot of damage," Conte told BT Sport.  "I want to see if we are in another big stadium, another big team, if they are ready to disallow this type of goal? When you invent this kind of situation, it is incredible. You create a lot of damage to clubs."

Tottenham had been forced the come from behind after ex-Spurs forward Marcus Edwards opened the scoring for Sporting. Rodrigo Bentancur leveled 10 minutes from time, and the home side thought it had snatched victory at the death.

Kane was adjudged to have been just in front of the ball from Emerson Royal's header despite the Brazilian heading the ball backwards across goal before it struck a Sporting defender.

"A few of us don't have a clue what happened," said Tottenham defender Matt Doherty. "I thought because it went backwards and hit a defender it was a different phase of play. I'll have to look at the rule book. If we're being honest we didn't play that well. We're top of the group. It's not how we wanted the night to go, but it's still in our hands."

A point was the least that Sporting deserved after enjoying the better of the chances until the closing stages.

Conte has called on the Spurs' board to further strengthen his squad in the January transfer window after back-to-back defeats dampened the bright start to the Premier League season.

However, it was a Tottenham academy graduate discarded by the club at a young age that was the star of the opening 45 minutes.

Edwards made just one appearance for his boyhood club before leaving to make his career in Portugal, firstly with Vitoria Guimaraes, before making the move to Sporting and came back to haunt his old club with a fine strike into the bottom corner on 22 minutes.

As the hosts labored to find a way back into the game without the injured Dejan Kulusevki and Richarlison, Sporting should have been out of sight. Hugo Lloris made amends for any questions over his positioning for the opening goal to save a one-on-one with Flavio Nazinho.

Moments later, Nazinho slotted wide with the goal gaping after Lloris parried Pedro Porro's initial effort.

Sporting boss Ruben Amorim soon had his head in his hands as Bentancur outjumped goalkeeper Antonio Adan to head in Ivan Perisic's corner.

Eric Dier then should have followed Edwards' lead to come to haunt his former club. Twice, the England defender headed wide glorious chances from point-blank range.

Sporting had kept Harry Kane and Son Heung-min quiet for the 90 minutes and was handed a reprieve at the death when Kane did get a sight of goal to leave Tottenham with work to do in Marseille in six days' time.


© Agence France-Presse

3 comments about "UEFA Champions League: Antonio Conte takes aim at VAR 'damage' as tie puts Spurs' advancement in jeopardy".
  1. Santiago 1314, October 26, 2022 at 10:40 p.m.

    I propose that Offside should only be Called if: 
    The Offensive Player is "Totally" Over the Offside Line.("Last" Body Part of the Last Defender)
    Similar to the Whole of the Ball needing to be Over the WHOLE of the Line, in Order to be a Goal... Or the Whole of the Ball needing to be Over the Touch Line, for a Throw-In to be Awarded

  2. Tim Schum, October 27, 2022 at 10:44 a.m.

    Agree. This toenail, eyelash being ahead of the last defender is ridiculous. 

  3. humble 1, October 27, 2022 at 12:02 p.m.

    Did not watch this game - did see the ending - on the 'goal zone' of P+.  It was madness with the finish at the AM-Leverkusen game.  Here we see the technology is ahead of the coach, he does not understand, so he cannot accept it.  This is why he suffers.  Of course he is not objective.  What if the tables were turned and he was in Amorim's seat?  What we should all be asking for- is the variable in VAR they fail to share, it's most important, which FRAME was chosed by the VAR official(s) as the POINT OF CONTACT?  They are pulling something like 228 frames per second.  They will chose one FRAME.  Which one is it - can it be shown? - so we all agree this is the POINT OF CONTACT.  Then we look at the offside in that FRAME.  If they fail to share this, we can never have real clarity on the view of the offside, they could have selected a FRAME with an outcome that suits them.  Sometimes they show this in the slide on TV, but still, there are more than 200 frames in a second.  If you fairly establish the FRAME is correct, the rest is just applying LOG, which all should know that play at that level.  Always better to take the game out of hands of officials by winning convincingly.   

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