January 28, 2018 / 8:47 PM / 10 months ago

Lazio coach stunned by VAR failure to spot handball goal

Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan vs Lazio - San Siro, Milan, Italy - January 28, 2018 AC Milan's Patrick Cutrone scores their first goal REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

MILAN (Reuters) - Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said it was incredible that the video replay system (VAR) had failed to spot a handball in AC Milan’s first goal during their 2-1 Serie A win over his side on Sunday.

Television replays showed that the ball hit Patrick Cutrone’s arm as he scored from Hakan Calhanoglu’s cross in the 15th minute and AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso agreed that the goal was not legitimate.

Inzaghi has already complained about the VAR system which is being tried out in Serie A and competitions in other parts of the world, saying it has taken the enjoyment out of the game and cost his team seven points — even before Sunday’s incident.

“I would like to lose for once without VAR in the middle,” he said. “It’s incredible. Their first goal should have been disallowed. They will have to explain this one as well.

“A free kick which was diverted with the use of the arm; it’s unbelievable,” he added.

Inzaghi, who admitted he did not spot the handball himself until seeing the television images, was seen to approach Cutrone at the final whistle and ask the player if he had used his arm.

“He said that it hit his back, but that’s fair enough, it’s not his fault,” Inzaghi said. “It’s a serious mistake. It’s gone wrong for the umpteenth time... The images speak for themselves.”

Gattuso commented: “I thought he scored with his head but, looking at it again, I have seen that it was an irregular goal. But I don’t think it does us justice to talk about just one episode.”

Football’s law-making body IFAB is expected to decide in March whether to authorise the use of VAR on a permanent basis. Global soccer body FIFA has said on various occasions that it wants to use the system at the World Cup in Russia this year.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Clare Fallon

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