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  1. ITV Report

Sol Campbell: Former England defender said lack of VAR technology denied him of two goals

Former Tottenham, Arsenal defender and now Macclesfield Manager, Sol Campbell defends the use of video assistant refereeing (VAR) throughout the game.

But wishes it had been introduced sooner.

He said he's been deprived of two goals during his international career and blames it on VAR technology not being around.

Sol Campbell, Former England player Credit: PA

Known for his commanding performances in defence both for club and for his country.

Campbell was also a threat upfront from set pieces, despite only scoring once in his 73 appearances for England.

Sol Campbell, Former Arsenal player Credit: PA

Campbell believes he was unfairly denied two goals whilst wearing his England shirt.

The first came against Argentina in the knockout round of the 1998 World Cup.

With 10 minutes to play and the score level at 2-2, Campbell headed home Darren Anderton's corner, only for the referee to rule that Alan Shearer had impeded the goalkeeper.

Having been down to 10 men after the 47th minute, thanks to David Beckham's red card, an exhausted England could only hang on for a penalty shoot-out, which they then lost.

England football team, 1998 World Cup second round match against Argentina Credit: PA

The second came with only a minute left on the clock of their Euro 2004 quarter-final against Portugal.

Michael Owen headed Beckham's free-kick on to the bar and Campbell rose highest to nod home and give England what he thought would be a memorable 2-1 win over the hosts and a place through to the last four.

But, once more, the referee disagreed, with John Terry believed to have impeded the goalkeeper this time, sending the game to extra-time, penalties and another agonising defeat.

Sol Campbell Credit: PA

Out of the two decisions, it was the game against Portugal which denied England a place in the semi-final which frustrated Campbell the most.

Sol Campbell celebrates scoring against Portugal only for it to be disallowed Credit: PA

The ball has gone that way, the keeper that way...I still think, if it was Portugal scoring,it would have been a goal.

Obviously,there's the other one with Argentina, but the Portugal one would have taken us to a semi-final.

If you look at it again there are people jumping up for the ball, not holding anyone,the ball spun this way, the keeper that way. OK, John Terry is there (but) it's a goal. I thought I'd scored, I'm in the crowd!

It's just 'whatever' now, but I think if (VAR) was in play we'd get one of those goals.

– Sol Campbell
Sol Campbel, Former England player Credit: PA

Tired of the debates which stemmed from controversial referee decisions, FIFA agreed to trial video replays in 2016 and introduced VAR properly at last summer's World Cup in Russia.

Campbell said the introduction of VAR technology throughout the professional game is inevitable.

But he believes there are still issues which must be addressed.

It can work for you and it can work against you and there is still interpretation there.

It's not cut and dried yet, it's work in progress. But obviously it's the future and you've got to have something like that because there's too much on games now and I think the players will just get used to it.

– Sol Campbell