GARETH SOUTHGATE fears England are being targeted by World Cup referees after they featured in a pre-tournament video nasty.

The Three Lions boss wants urgent talks with Fifa, believing his side should have had a penalty in Monday’s 6-2 win over Iran.

Harry Maguire was denied a penalty despite being wrestled to the ground vs Iran

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Harry Maguire was denied a penalty despite being wrestled to the ground vs IranCredit: Getty
Gareth Southgate fears England are being targeted by refs at the World Cup

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Gareth Southgate fears England are being targeted by refs at the World CupCredit: BBC

Harry Maguire was rugby-tackled by Roozbeh Cheshmi but VAR did not recommend a review.

Yet Iran scored a late spot-kick through Mehdi Taremi when John Stones was adjudged by VAR to have pulled the shirt of Morteza Pouraliganji.

Southgate revealed his worries after officials were shown a video of Maguire’s goal in a World Cup qualifier against Albania 12 months ago.

It would now be ruled out because Kalvin Phillips blocked a defender.

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Southgate said: “What worries me is we were used as an example in the referees’ video.

“We were told that incident in the first half would be a definite penalty.

“For the second half (Iran penalty), maybe there’s a shirt pull — but I’m a bit worried we were the example shown and then to get a decision as happened in the first half.

“We need some clarification really as to how it’s going to be.

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“We’ve got to have that dialogue with Fifa. We want clarity otherwise we don’t know where we stand.”

England also want clarity on the amount of extra-time being played after 24 MINUTES were added in their opener.

Southgate’s stars who did not start against Iran had a light training  session yesterday.

But James Maddison sat it out again as he nurses his knee injury and is in a race against time to be fit for Friday’s tie with the US.

The Three Lions hope to get another boost after Friday’s match — by  seeing their families.

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Southgate is willing to allow loved ones into the team hotel as long as Covid cases remain low.

The manager said: “We’ve talked about it but we’ve got to monitor what the rates are out here.”



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