Alan Shearer’s only concern after England thrashed Iran was the refereeing


    England v IR Iran: Group B - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
    Harry Maguire had a very strong penalty claim turned down in the first half against Iran (Picture: Getty Images)

    Alan Shearer was thrilled with England’s 6-2 win over Iran in their World Cup opener no Monday, but is concerned about the officiating after two penalty decisions showed wild inconsistency.

    It was a resounding win for the Three Lions, but there were two refereeing decisions that were cause for concern and could have created huge controversy if it had been a closer game.

    Early in the match Harry Maguire was hauled down in the penalty area from an England corner, with the referee giving nothing and VAR inexplicably not stepping in to encourage the award of a spot-kick.

    In contrast, VAR did step in to award Iran a late penalty when there was some fairly minor shirt-pulling from John Stones at an Iranian corner.

    While Iran probably deserved a penalty, England certainly also did and Shearer just hopes that similar inconsistency doesn’t rear its head again.

    ‘My only slight concern after watching England had nothing to do with their display – it was the part the video assistant referee played in their game,’ Shearer told the BBC.

    ‘An Iran defender bear hugged Maguire to bring him down at a corner but nothing was given, which was just pathetic when you consider that Stones conceded a stoppage-time penalty for doing far less.

    ‘It didn’t matter because we were so far ahead at the time, but imagine if we were 2-1 up and on the wrong end of a decision like that?

    ‘We’ve seen goals ruled out in other games for extremely tight offsides too – someone’s toe or shoulder being the wrong side of the line – which I never like to see, and I just hope VAR does not get too involved in this World Cup because we will enjoy the football more without it interfering.’

    England v Iran -World Cup
    It was a very successful opening contest for England (Picture: Getty Images)

    Shearer also suggested there would be one slightly unhappy member of the England camp after the 6-2 hammering, with Harry Kane not able to get on the score sheet.

    ‘The only person who might not be happy is captain Harry Kane, after failing to get on the scoresheet himself,’ said the Newcastle legend.

    ‘I was laughing with Gary Lineker after the game about how devastated we would both be, as fellow strikers, if that had happened to us when we were going for a Golden Boot.

    ‘Being serious, though, Kane still played very well. He is going to score soon, so his wait for a first goal at this World Cup won’t last for long.’

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