Northern Ireland's Evans calls for video refs after controversial penalty

Referees need to 'look and learn' from controversial Northern Ireland penalty

Corry Evans says video technology should be introduced for big games after Northern Ireland were denied a place at the 2018 World Cup by a controversial penalty decision.

Switzerland beat Michael O'Neill's side 1-0 on aggregate in a play-off courtesy of Ricardo Rodriguez's penalty.

It was given for handball by Evans when the ball clearly hit him on the back.

"Hopefully the referees can look at this, learn from it and introduce video technology a bit sooner," said Evans.

Speaking for the first time since Northern Ireland missed out on next summer's tournament in Russia, the Blackburn player told On Events Sport he was "quite shocked if truth be told" when the decision was give against him.

He was also booked, ruling him out of the second leg in Basel, which ended goalless.

And the 27-year-old added: "I was penalised for something I didn't actually commit. It led to me missing potentially one of the biggest games of my international career. It was a tough pill to swallow."

The Irish FA is set to back the implementation of video assistant referees (VARs) in the wake of last week's controversy.

Trials of VARs are under way in several countries and Fifa has been using it in some of its tournaments, including the Club World Cup and recent Under-17 World Cup.

Michael O'Neill 'heartbroken' after Northern Ireland miss out on World Cup

Evans' wife, Lisa, apologised for a racist tweet about the referee, Romania official Ovidiu Hategan, who awarded the penalty.

"I have no control over what people write on social media, just as I have no control over the decision the referee made on Thursday night," said Evans.

"It has been dealt with and hopefully that is the end of it."


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