Two possible reasons why England weren't awarded a penalty vs Tunisia

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With VAR - and goalline technology - in full operation during the 2018 World Cup, England fans don’t need to worry about exiting the competition in controversial circumstances.

Well, that’s what we all believed before England’s opening World Cup game was shrouded in controversy.

Despite the countless officials pitchside and several more sitting in their truck in Moscow watching the match on dozens on TVs, England were still denied what appeared to be two blatant penalties.

Harry Kane was hauled down in the penalty area on two occasions from corners only for it to be totally ignored.

Many believed that VAR didn't bother reviewing the two incidents - but they did. They just decided they weren't penalties.

And there might be an explanation as to exactly why.

ESPN have produced a report which might explain why both Kane penalties weren’t given.

Ferjani Sassi clearly wrestled Kane to the ground in the 39th-minute but defender John Stones may have committed a foul just before.

Stones clearly pushed Ellyes Skhiri in the back with VAR protocol stating that if there is a foul by the attacking team before the review incident, then that negates the review.

That could explain the first one.

What about the second one?

This time, Yassine Meriah brought Kane down.

However, replays show Kane also had hold of Meriah’s arm and was pulling down the Tunisian himself.

Tunisia v England: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

VAR analysed both incidents and, after looking at replays, decided Kane and England didn’t deserve a penalty.


Let’s hope the Three Lions aren’t on the wrong end of any more controversial decisions in the rest of the campaign.

But Gary Neville had an interesting theory as to why VAR isn't "fit for purpose" despite it performing fairly well so far this tournament.

In a series of tweets, Neville explained how VAR officials simply don't have enough time to make the correct decisions.

Harry Kane
World Cup
Premier League

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