Antonio Conte: VAR made ‘big mistake’ over Alvaro Morata dive call

Antonio Conte said that the video assistant referee Mike Jones made “big, big mistake” after opting not to flag up a potential penalty and instead sent off Alvaro Morata in Chelsea’s third round replay victory over Norwich City.

The hosts, who won on penalties, were down to nine men following the dismissals of Pedro and Morata who were both shown one of their two yellow cards for diving.

Conte, who watched a replay of that challenge and was insistent it should have resulted in a penalty, saying that the VAR apparently decided no clear and obvious error had occurred.

“If we want to use a new system, I can’t accept a big mistake,” Conte said. “In this case, the Willian penalty was a big, big mistake. Not from the referee on the pitch, who took quickly a decision to book Willian and didn’t have any doubt, but from the person watching the game [Jones]. I hope the VAR wasn’t a referee because if you see that watching on television and don’t think that’s a penalty … he has to improve. It was very clear.”

“At least to avoid a big mistake, [the VAR has] to call the referee and tell him: ‘Look, maybe this situation there is a doubt. For me it’s no penalty, but it’s better you go and watch it, and then take the final decision.’ We need to improve if we want to use this new system. We have to wait to check with the person who is watching the game and then, if this person is sure 100% that it is simulation, go and book Willian.”

“About Pedro, if there is a dive it’s right to take a yellow card. It’s the same for Morata. I don’t want an advantage, especially if you know this system is being used. You can watch every situation with this situation. If someone gives a punch or an elbow, you must pay great attention. In this case, if it wasn’t a penalty, it was right to give a yellow card.”

“For sure, I’m not happy for the second yellow card for Morata. The first yellow card was for a doubtful situation — I didn’t watch Morata’s situation yet — but the second was for dissent. You must pay great attention. In this moment of the game you have to pay great attention to stay calm and make the best decision.”

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