Ref Chief Backs Decision to Deny Scotland Penalty v Hungary

Scotland were correctly denied a penalty in their final Euro 2024 group game because it was felt Stuart Armstrong had initiated "physical contact" with Hungary defender Willi Orban, according to Uefa's head of referees.

Argentine referee Facundo Tello was criticised by Scotland head coach Steve Clarke following Hungary's 1-0 victory, which eliminated their opponents from the competition.

But the decision was defended by the governing body's managing director of refereeing, Roberto Rosetti, during an hour-long briefing about the officiating in Germany.

He said the incident was checked by the VAR team, which decided there was no need for an on-field review by the referee, and that there had also been a possible hand ball in his own penalty box by Scotland midfielder John McGinn earlier in the second half.

"This was a very tough game with a couple of controversial incidents," Rosetti said when asked about the Armstrong incident.

"There was one, for example, in minute 68 when there was a possible penalty because number seven of Scotland, John McGinn, was pulling the opponent’s shirt just before the incident. So, this was one of the possible penalties.

"Then there was of course in minute 79 in the penalty area of Hungary another incident. This was, let’s say, in favour of Hungary. The second one was in favour of Scotland when the attacker of Scotland - Armstrong - was in front of the Hungarian.

"If you watch it from behind the camera, there was a movement of the attacker towards the Hungarian. So, another controversial decision."

Rosetti stressed that VAR "check everything".

"There was no intervention because in their opinion the attacker changed the direction towards the defender and, in his opinion, it was just a physical contact to challenge the defender," he said.

Asked whether Tello had been dropped as a referee for the knock-out stages, Rosetti declined to comment other than to say that some top-class officials always leave tournaments early.

Rosetti also described the decision to award a penalty and show a red card to Scotland centre-half Ryan Porteous in their opening defeat by Germany as "a good decision of the referee at the end, a very good intervention of the VAR".