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Why VAR didn’t overturn England’s controversial penalty against Denmark

Raheem Sterling won a controversial extra-time penalty for England

Raheem Sterling won a controversial extra-time penalty for England (Picture: Getty)

England’s controversial extra-time penalty against Denmark wasn’t overturned by VAR as Danny Makkelie’s decision to penalise Jannik Vestergaard for making contact with Raheem Sterling wasn’t deemed a clear and obvious error.

An absorbing contest went into extra-time after England were unable to make their territorial domination count against an obdurate Danish side who had taken the lead through Mikkel Damsgaard’s stunning free-kick.

An own goal from Simon Kjaer helped the Three Lions back into the contest but they were unable to find a way through until they were awarded a spot kick in fortuitious circumstances.

Vestergaard made minimal contact with Manchester City winger Sterling, but because the on field decision went in England’s favour, the VAR official was not in a position to overturn the original verdict.

As former Premier League referee Peter Walton explained on ITV: ‘It has to be a clear and obvious error there’s also an upper body check by the Danish defender I think this is a penalty and VAR is checking it.

‘Keep in mind it has to be a clear and obvious error for an on field decision to be changed.’

‘He gets a touch on it, does he clip his heels on the same attempt?’ added former England international Lee Dixon. ‘He puts his foot in I’m not so sure there’s an awful lot of contact. Don’t get too excited.

‘The referee is spot on there as far as his vision, does his foot make contact, can’t see any there. Doesn’t look as though it his his right foot

‘To rub salt into Denmark’s wounds, Kasper Schmeichel saved Harry Kane’s effort, but the ball rolled back into the striker’s path and he had the simple task of blasting the ball past the stranded goalkeeper.’


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