Clarke hits out at ref over penalty call as Scotland crash out of Euros

Scotland's campaign came to a crushing end in the last minute of injury time in Stuttgart.

Steve Clarke has hit out at the referee and VAR officials over their decision not to award a penalty for a foul on Stuart Armstrong in Scotland’s loss to Hungary.

The national team crashed out of Euro 2024 after an agonising 99th minute goal that sealed a 1-0 defeat in their in their final group game.

But the manager insists they should have had a spot-kick near the end of a tight and nervy encounter in Stuttgart on Sunday night.

He suggested that having an Argentine ref in a European competition might have been the wrong move and questioned the point of VAR if not to intervene in such moments.

Speaking after the game he said: “I don’t think you can fault the effort, it was a very tough game against a good opponent.

“It was a very close game that was always going to be decided by the first goal and you could tell that was going to be the case after half an hour.

“Unfortunately for us when we opened up towards the end of the game to try and chase the win that we felt we needed to get to the next stage, we were caught on the counter and we lost the game 1-0.

“But I don’t think there was anything between the two teams.”

When asked about the denial of a penalty call, Clarke let his anger and frustrations show.

He said: “It was 100% a penalty, somebody somewhere has to explain to me why that is not a penalty, it was 100%.

“And like I say it was a one goal game, if we get the penalty it can be a different night. I’ve got other words but I’m not going to use them.

“It was a European competition, so maybe it was better to have a European referee. But we had a European VAR team, and maybe the referee didn’t see the challenge on the pitch so what is the purpose of VAR if they are not going to come in on something like that.

“It was definite penalty.”

Kevin Csoboth scored in the last minute of injury time to give Hungary the win that leaves them in with a chance of joining Germany and Switzerland in the knockouts.

But Scotland’s campaign came to a crashing end and they will now head home after gaining just one points from their three group games that also included a 5-1 defeat to Germany and 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

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