Italy validated its qualification for Euro 2024 by snatching a draw against Ukraine (0-0) this Monday. A match which could have tilted in favor of the Ukrainians after a very contentious contact with Mykhaïlo Mudryk in the final moments.
Euro title holders, Italy did not come far from a huge snub this Monday. After missing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Nazionale narrowly qualified for the continental tournament by scoring a draw against Ukraine (0-0) on the last day of the qualifiers. A match marked by a major refereeing controversy in the final moments.
Manhandled and on the back foot during the last half hour of the meeting, Italy probably benefited from a helping hand from fate (or VAR) to hold on to a draw against the Ukrainians.
The central referee did not review the images, the VAR very fast
During added time, Mykhailo Mudryk collapsed in the area of Gigio Donnarumma after an intervention by Bryan Cristante. If the contact between the two players is real, even slight, the referee let it play and the Italians finally snatched their ticket for the Euro played in Germany from June 14 to July 14, 2024
At real speed, Jesus Gil Manzano’s decision can be understood since it seems difficult to clearly see the contact between the foot of Bryan Cristante and that of Mykhaïlo Mudryk. In principle, it is also for this type of contentious situation that video exists in football.
But this Monday, the referees in charge of VAR did not even ask the Spanish official to see the images to get a more precise idea of the Italian midfielder’s tackle.
After a very slight stoppage in play to analyze the action and the very limited intervention on the Ukrainian attacking midfielder from Chelsea, the video informed the central referee to restart the match. A choice which may seem surprising in view of the different slow motions. Regardless of the controversy, Italy will defend its title well during Euro 2024 in Germany. Ukraine will have one last chance to qualify through the play-offs.