Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi criticised English referees and VAR after his team dropped two points in a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United on Sunday following a red card that reduced his side to 10 men.
With Brighton leading 1-0, the home side had midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud sent off with a straight red card for a stamp on Ben Osborn’s leg when they were scrapping for the ball.
The red card immediately galvanized United and the visitor scored five minutes later to pick up a valuable point and extend Brighton’s winless run to six games.
De Zerbi was also booked by referee John Brooks soon after United equalised when the Italian lost his cool and began shouting on the touchline.
“I am honest and clear, I don’t like 80% of English referees. It’s not a new thing, I don’t like them... The behaviour, I don’t like their behaviour on the pitch,” De Zerbi said.
“If I see the new rules it’s a red card, clear. But I was a player and the dynamic of the situation wasn’t a red card, but we have to accept (the decision). Dahoud knows the mistake but it can happen.”
Match officials and VAR have been in the spotlight in the Premier League this season after Liverpool wrongly had a goal disallowed in a loss at Tottenham Hotspur, which forced the referees body, PGMOL, to issue an apology.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta also criticised the officiating in a 1-0 loss at Newcastle United, saying he felt “embarrassed” and “sick” after a controversial goal with three VAR checks ended their unbeaten run in the league.
“England is the only country where, when there is VAR, you are not sure the decision is right,” De Zerbi added.
“In other countries you have to be sure the referee is 100% right. In England no, and I’m not able to understand.”
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