Mark Halsey: North Macedonia penalty vs England shockingly harsh – what on earth was VAR doing getting involved?

NORTH MACEDONIA’S first-half penalty against England was a shockingly harsh decision.

I was astounded that VAR Michal Ocenas intervened and then Slovakia referee Filip Glova awarded a spot-kick against full-back Rico Lewis.

North Macedonia were awarded a penalty for a foul on Bojan MiovskiCredit: Channel 4

The teenage Manchester City debutant, who had his eyes on the ball, had his arms in a natural position as he jumped before heading it away from the hosts’ Bojan Miovski.

Yes, Lewis caught Miovski with a flailing arm to the face but it was never a penalty. What on earth was Ocenas doing?

Ref Glova must have seen it in real-time and correctly waved play on because it wasn’t even a foul.

When he went over to the pitchside monitor, Glova needed to show more mental toughness to back his own call but he didn’t.

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To compound Lewis’ misery, he was also booked.

Enis Bardhi scored at the second attempt following the spot-kick but Macedonia should have had an earlier first-half penalty.

Harry Maguire brought down Elif Elmas and I was surprised Ocenas did not recommend a review for Glova.

Jack Grealish had a goal ruled out for offside but why did it take three minutes to chalk it off?

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Harry Maguire was lucky to avoid giving away a penalty earlier in the gameCredit: Channel 4

The game ended 1-1 after a second-half own goal from Jani Atanasov.

Fans and former players were baffled with some of the decisions made during the match, particularly the one to award the penalty.

England icon Gary Lineker tweeted: “It’s not important in the slightest, but that’s the most ridiculous penalty decision.”

While Chelsea legend John Terry questioned: “Oh my word… How is that a penalty?”

Source: Soccer -


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