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Steve Clarke was unhappy that an Argentinian referee officiated Scotland's defeat to Hungary, but why was a non-European official in charge?

On Sunday evening Scotland became the second team to be eliminated from Euro 2024 with a 1-0 defeat to Hungary.

Both sides knew they needed to win to stand any chance of reaching the last-16, but it wasn't until injury-time that both threw caution to the wind and went all-out attack.

Substitute Kevin Csoboth snatched victory for Hungary with a winner in the 100th minute, but only after Scotland felt they were denied a stonewall penalty.

Steve Clarke was unhappy with referee Facundo Tello. [Getty]
Steve Clarke was unhappy with referee Facundo Tello. [Getty]

Striker Stuart Armstrong was bearing down on goal when he went down under pressure from Willi Orban, but referee Facundo Tello waved play on.

All potential penalty incidents are checked by VAR, but there was no official review of the incident that forced the referee to stop play.

After the match, Scotland boss Clarke vented his frustration during an interview with BBC Sport.

"He's [Tello] from Argentina. How would I ask him? Probably doesn't speak the language, I don't know. Why's he here, why's it not a European referee?"

During his post-match press conference Clarke added: "[It's a] European competition, it might have been better to have a European referee," Clarke replied.

"But we had a European VAR, and maybe the referee didn't see the challenge clearly on the pitch. So what's the purpose of VAR if they're not going to come in on something like that? It was a penalty."

Tello is only the second non-European referee to take charge of a match at the Euros, following compatriot Fernando Rapallini at Euro 2020.

The reason why Tello was selected for the tournament is because UEFA have a collaborative arrangement with their South American counterparts CONMEBOL.

As part of that scheme, Italian official Maurizio Mariani is officiating at this summer's Copa America in the United States while Tello is working at Euro 2024.

Tello took charge of three matches at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, making headlines both before and during the tournament.

Weeks before the World Cup the 42-year-old referee sent off 10 players during a hearted clash between Boca Juniors and Racing Club in Argentina’s Champions Trophy final.

Tello was then heavily criticised by Portugal's players after they lost 1-0 to Morocco in the World Cup quarter-finals.

After that match, veteran defender Pepe said: "They can now give the title to Argentina.

"It is unacceptable that an Argentine referee administered the game today after what happened yesterday, with Messi complaining and Argentina talking."

Lionel Messi and Emi Martinez had slammed Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz following their quarter-final victory over Netherlands, calling on FIFA to drop him from the remainder of the tournament.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Euro 2024, Scotland, VAR, Argentina, Football