Furious Antonio Conte claims VAR is cutting 'emotion' out of football

‘This is not football’: Furious Antonio Conte is STILL seething over Tottenham’s disallowed winner against Sporting Lisbon as he insists it should be ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ for VAR to make mistakes – and claims the technology is cutting ’emotion’ out of the game

  • Antonio Conte has hit out at VAR and claimed the technology is ‘not football’
  • Conte’s Tottenham side were denied a late winner vs Sporting Lisbon this week
  • VAR intervened to rule that Harry Kane’s stoppage-time strike was in fact offside
  • But Conte has been left incensed and is still not over the controversial decision 

Antonio Conte unleashed another furious attack on VAR, claiming it is killing the emotion of football after Tottenham were denied a 95th minute winner against Sporting Lisbon.

Harry Kane thought he had sealed Spurs’ place in the Champions League knockouts on Wednesday, only for his late strike to be ruled out after a tight offside call.

Conte, who was sent off in the aftermath, slammed the decision at full-time and the manager was still angry in his pre-match press conference ahead of Tottenham’s trip to Bournemouth on Saturday.

‘I didn’t change my mind. I repeat the decision was really wrong, they did a big damage to us,’ Conte said.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has hit out at VAR and claimed the technology is ‘not football’

‘What they [did] in the last game was incredible. You score, you are already qualified for the next round, you are celebrating and then you have to stay five minutes to look at the situation, to look at VAR. To take a decision and you don’t know if it’s right or wrong, this is not football in this way. In this way it is not football also because you cut the emotion. You cut the emotion of everybody, especially the players because you don’t know. Before you score a goal and now you don’t know what happens later.

‘If someone invents a fall one minute before, to discover a fall one minute before and then they go to disallow it. It happens [like] this. But it happens only when they want [it] to happen. This is the difference. For this reason I continue to tell it has to be the right interpretation, but it has to be the interpretation for everybody and not different interpretation otherwise it’s a damage, VAR can become a damage in this way.’

The Italian also insisted that it should be ‘impossible’ for officials to make a mistake with VAR and questioned why referees are unable to see ‘clear’ decisions.

Conte’s Spurs side were denied a late winner against Sporting Lisbon over this offside call 

Harry Kane (L) could not believe his stoppage-time strike was overturned by VAR technology 

‘I repeat, I don’t know for me, I continue to think that it’s impossible to make a mistake with the VAR it’s impossible, it’s impossible. Because you have a screen, you have time and then… it’s impossible to make mistakes for this reason.

‘For me it’s impossible to make a wrong decision with VAR and also to stay four, five, six minutes and to keep the people there. Already to stay five or six minutes, it means already you have confusion in your mind. It’s incredible I repeat, it’s incredible. I justify the mistake of the referee, I always say this. Against Newcastle it was incredible that the VAR didn’t see that a player blocked Hugo Lloris. Why didn’t they call the referee why, why? It was so clear. Another big, big mistake. I repeat it’s very difficult to comment on this because we are talking about situations that are so clear. To find an answer is difficult and I hope in every situation to see honesty. I ask only this, honesty. To make a mistake with VAR it means you are really, really… I don’t want to say what I think.

‘I think VAR is a great help for the referee to make the best decision. I think this because with the VAR when we started to use the VAR in Italy we were really sure and in every situation and also on the bench you were calm, relaxed because you know that people see the video and to see again, to have the right time to control, to check, for many times a situation.

‘I was really happy because I said in a positive, negative situation the most important thing is that there is honesty in the decision and to make the best decision. But after six months the situation started to change. They started to [have] different interpretations. Now you don’t know what they’re planning.

A fuming Conte made his anger known and received a red card from the referee on the night

‘This is not the first time. The problem in this way they have to improve a lot but when I stay at home and I see the image, I’m watching another game and I see the image and then I see VAR, for me it’s easy to take the best decision. Instead, then you see for example they take the opposite decision. Unbelievable. Maybe in the VAR they are seeing another image.’

Conte’s red card means he will now miss Tottenham’s crucial game with Marseille next week. The manager said he was given a red for going on the pitch and believes referees should have a better understanding of the ‘emotion’ of late decisions.

‘I was sent off because I came on to the pitch.’ Conte said. ‘But I see a lot of people to come on to the pitch after a decision and after we waited five minutes to see your goal was disallowed. I didn’t insult no one.

‘I overcame the line of the pitch and then quickly I came back. I think also in these type of situations I think that maybe if I have to tell something about the referee, they have to also understand the emotions of the moment. You are disallowing a goal five minutes after we celebrated, a goal that for us was qualification. Then if you are a bit but I think you have to understand I was very close to the line but if it means damage to us.’

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