Bukayo Saka refused to be drawn into more VAR controversy following England’s mundane Euro 2024 qualifying win over Malta.
The Arsenal winger has seen club manager Mikel Arteta handed a Football Association charge for his criticism of referees and VAR in the recent 1-0 Premier League defeat at Newcastle.
Arteta said it was “embarrassing” and a “disgrace” that Anthony Gordon’s goal was allowed to stand following a lengthy check.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was unhappy with VAR in the recent loss at Newcastle
England limped to a forgettable 2-0 victory over Malta at Wembley on Friday night but saw captain Harry Kane booked for simulation when there appeared to be clear contact from Malta goalkeeper Henry Bonello.
Saka was introduced at the interval and set up Kane to double England’s lead before his Arsenal team-mate Declan Rice had a goal ruled out when VAR intervened once again to rule that Kane was offside.
“Honestly, let’s not make comments about VAR tonight,” Saka replied when asked about the tight calls.
“I think let’s just focus on the win, the three points and be positive about it.”
Referee Luis Godinho booked Harry Kane for diving in the Malta win
England had taken an early lead through an Enrico Pepe own goal but then toiled, with no shot on target until well into the second-half and Kane shown a yellow card having been accused of going to ground to easily.
Asked if he had ever known Kane to dive, Saka added: “No, no. Even if I did I’m not going to say it now! He’s not a diver.
“I think it was a clear penalty from what I saw. I thought even VAR would check it and overturn it but I don’t know what they saw.”
While the win over the minnows of Malta may have been wholly unconvincing, it does mean Gareth Southgate’s side areRead on m.allfootballapp.com