Football: Conte slams VAR for ‘damage’ as Spurs are made to wait for Champions League progress

After a VAR check lasting over three minutes, Tottenham's Harry Kane was judged to have been offside. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON – Tottenham manager Antonio Conte said VAR is doing “a lot of damage” to football after he was sent off for protesting against Harry Kane’s disallowed stoppage-time strike in a 1-1 draw with Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday.

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

But after a VAR (video assistant referee) review lasting more than 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 one point from Sporting and Eintracht Frankfurt – both have seven points – but all four teams in the section can still qualify.

A point in southern France will be enough for the English Premier League side to progress, while Sporting also just need a draw to go through when they host Frankfurt.

“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 to come from behind after former Spurs forward Marcus Edwards opened the scoring for Sporting.

Rodrigo Bentancur levelled 10 minutes from time and the home side thought they had snatched victory at the death when Kane smashed in from a narrow angle.

But 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.

Photos of the decision with VAR lines added showed that Kane’s knee may have been millimetres offside when Emerson headed the ball across.

“A few of us don’t have a clue what happened,” said Spurs 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, while Spurs have badly missed the creativity of Dejan Kulusevski and goal threat of Richarlison in recent weeks through injury. AFP, REUTERS

Harry Kane scores a second goal for Spurs, before it was disallowed after a VAR review. PHOTO: REUTERS

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