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