Italy Stay Perfect In Qualifier, Thanks To VAR

Italy made it six wins out of six over the international break, with away victories over Armenia (3-1) and Finland (2-1). The six victories on the bounce mean that Roberto Mancini is one win away from equaling the all-time record of consecutive wins for an Azzurri boss set by the legendary Vittorio Pozzo, who coached the side to the 1934 and 1938 World Cup.

But the Finland game also offered yet another compelling pro-VAR argument, since Italy’s winner came on a penalty awarded for this handball that was anything but punishable. Contrary to what many seem to insist, not every ball striking an arm in the penalty area is a penalty. Referees still have discretion and this was not a penalty.

Of course, there is no VAR in Euro qualifying. And there is also the very real prospect of Finland missing out on the Euros, which would be their first-ever major international tournament, by a single point. You can argue about execution and implementation as long as you like, but this is why VAR was introduced.


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