Southgate ‘worried’ over referee briefing video

Gareth Southgate is “worried” that England appearing as an example at a pre-World Cup referee briefing will have ramifications for his side.

Against Iran, England were penalised for a shirt pull from a corner, whereas Harry Maguire’s appeals for a foul at the other end had been ignored.

On day three of the World Cup, a similar incident resulted in Argentina getting a penalty against Saudi Arabia.  “We’ve got to have clarity or we don’t know where we stand,” Southgate said.

Fifa referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina singled out England during a pre-tournament briefing, showing a clip of Kalvin Phillips blocking to create space for Maguire to score in a victory over Albania in World Cup qualifying last year.

Collina explained such a goal would be disallowed at the World Cup, leaving Southgate uncertain over the potential consequences for England.  “What worries me is we were used in an example in the referees’ video,” he said.

“What we were shown, the incident in the first half [with Maguire] would be a definite penalty.  “Maybe there’s a shirt pull [for the Iran penalty] – we’ve got to be better on that – but I’m a bit worried we were the example shown, and then to get a decision as happened in the first half, we need some clarification really as to how it’s going to be.

“We’ve got to have that dialogue with Fifa and just make sure. Goals are going in and we don’t know whether they stand or not.”

England could seal qualification from Group B with a win in their next game against the United States on Friday (19:00 GMT).

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