Conte calls for VAR improvements
Antonio Conte believes improvements are needed to the video assistant referee (VAR) system if it is to be used in English football.
VAR is being trialled in the FA Cup, with the system in use for Chelsea's FA Cup replay against Norwich City on Wednesday when the Premier League side progressed to the fourth round after a 5-3 penalty shoot-out win following a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
But the match will be remembered for a series of refereeing controversies, with three Chelsea players - Willian, Pedro and Alvaro Morata - all booked for simulation.
VAR was used for the Willian incident, while referee Graham Scott sent both Pedro and Morata off, the latter shown a second yellow for dissent immediately after his first booking.
Eden Hazard scored the decisive penalty after Willy Caballero denied Nelson Oliveira to book a fourth-round clash with Newcastle United, but Conte was left frustrated by VAR's usage.
"I think that we need to improve if we want to use this new system," Conte told his post-match press conference. "In this game, there is a situation very clear with Willian at the start of the first period of extra time.
"I think the situation was very clear. I watched it and this is a penalty. Very clear. But this is not because I'm not happy with a referee's decision. The referee took quickly a decision to book Willian. That means you don't have doubt. If you do this quickly, it means you don't have doubt.
"Instead, I repeat, if we want to improve – it's only to try and improve the system – we have to wait to check with the person who is watching the game and then, if this person is sure 100 per cent that it is simulation, go and book Willian.
"Instead, I think the person watching the game, at least you must have a doubt. There is a kick to Willian and he should call the referee and tell him. Maybe it's a penalty, for me.
"For me, this is not the right solution if the referee doesn't refer a doubtful decision. The final decision stays with the referee on the pitch, not the one watching the game. But it's only because we want to try and use this new system, and this is my opinion to help the referee use this new system. We have been using it in Italy for six months, and you can reduce a lot of the referee's mistakes."
Conte says the players must now recover very well as they must play at 12.30pm on Saturday following this game with extra-time. #CHENOR
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 17, 2018
Conte was also highly critical of his players, with Pedro and Morata earning bans that will rule them out of Chelsea's next Premier League game, away to Brighton and Hove Albion.
"I don't know, but I don't want an advantage," the Italian replied when asked about Chelsea's three bookings for simulation.
"About Pedro, if there is a dive, it's right to take a yellow card. It's the same for Morata. I don't want an advantage, especially if you know this system is being used.
"You can watch every situation with this situation. If someone gives a punch or an elbow, you must pay great attention. In this case, if it wasn't a penalty, it was right to give a yellow card.
"I'm not happy for the second yellow card for Morata. The first yellow card was for a doubtful situation – I didn't watch Morata's situation yet – but the second was for dissent.
"You must pay great attention. In this moment of the game, you have to pay great attention to stay calm and make the best decision."