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Men's Football Fulham boss raises the introduction of VAR in the Championship

SCOTT PARKER called for VAR to be introduced in the Championship after he felt that Fulham were denied a clear penalty in stoppage time at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Chasing an undeserved equaliser, substitute Neeskens Kebano went down under a challenge from Callum O’Dowda, and the Cottagers were furious when referee Jeremy Simpson waved play on.

“The referee has made a big mistake and that can happen and that is why you want VAR in the Championship and it would have reversed the decision,” said Parker. “I just said to the referee that we watch a lot of football matches and you can see situations developing and when Neeskens went through and a player comes across him, you have to think it’s likely to be a penalty.”

Bristol City’s manager Lee Johnson said that he didn’t need to watch the incident again, as, “I spoke to Callum who told me he pulled out of the tackle. But that’s the player’s word for it, and I’m sure if the roles were reversed, I would have a different opinion.”

A late goal would have been unjust on the Robins, who were excellent for 85 minutes. The victory took them level on points with Fulham in third place in the league.

The visitors dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead in the 26th minute when Niclas Eliasson’s cross from the left found Josh Brownhill in acres of space between the Fulham defenders, and the Robins’ captain made no mistake.

Although Fulham came out better in the second half, they didn’t trouble Daniel Bentley in the City goal. The visitors punished Fulham for their lack of penetration, doubling the lead in the second half with a fine move that ended with Adam Nagny crossing for striker Famara Diedhiou to tap in from two yards.

City looked to be cruising to victory until the introduction of Kebano. With four minutes left of the game, his shot was parried by Bentley into the path of fellow substitute Aboubakar Kamara to blast home.

There was even time after the penalty incident for Kebano to see his header come off the crossbar, as Fulham desperately pushed for a point.

The win keeps up Bristol City’s remarkable record at Craven Cottage, where they have won on their last five visits, four of which have been under Johnson’s stewardship. 

Ironically, he’s a Fulham fan, and joked: “My family always comes to these games, so we have to do well.” 


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