Saturday February 22 2020
Maldini: 'If that's a penalty...'

Milan director Paolo Maldini protested the late Fiorentina equaliser and failure of VAR to intervene. “If this is a penalty, then I really don’t know what’s going on nowadays.”

Ante Rebic’s opener was wiped out by an Erick Pulgar spot-kick, awarded for Alessio Romagnoli’s challenge on Patrick Cutrone, although replays suggest he at the very least grazed the ball.

“Unfortunately, we only get a point, as the game was under control and played better than Fiorentina, but with the opposition down to 10 men did not know how to deal with the situation,” Maldini told DAZN.

“It’s a little irritating, as in this case, VAR not calling the referee for that penalty incident was confusing. I was more certain two years ago on what was or wasn’t a penalty. If this is a penalty, then I really don’t know what’s going on nowadays.

“They told us the touch on the ball has to be decisive, which frankly is wording in the rules I’ve not heard before.

“The fact remains, the referee still should’ve spent 30 seconds looking at it again, because that incident changed the game and the result.”

VAR had not been so reticent earlier in the game, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a goal disallowed for handball, while Dalbert was initially only booked until the on-field review made the referee change his mind for a straight red.

“The referee already went to the on-field review twice for the Ibrahimovic handball and the red card, so why not go a third time for such a decisive incident?” added Maldini.

“It’s impossible for the referee to tell the extent of Romagnoli’s touch on the ball in real time, so we have this instrument of VAR and it should therefore be used.

“This protocol needs to be either simplified or explained more clearly, because the use of VAR is too inconsistent.”

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