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Corry Evans wants VAR implemented for international qualifiers

Northern Ireland international Corry Evans has urged FIFA to implement the VAR system in the wake of the controversy earlier this week. The Irish were ousted from next summer's World Cup finals in Russia after they lost their two-legged playoff to Switzerland by a solitary goal.

The Swiss opened the scoring via a penalty in the first leg in Belfast where Evans was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. The Blackburn Rovers ace appeared to turn his back on the impending shot, but the referee nevertheless gave the spot-kick despite no clear view of the ball hitting his hand.

Following the game, Evans was bitterly disappointed by the result which forced him to miss the second-leg where the Irish failed to find the net, he said: "Hopefully the referees can look at this, learn from it and introduce video technology a bit sooner. I was penalised for something I didn't actually commit. It led to me missing potentially one of the biggest games of my international career. It was a tough pill to swallow."

The Irish FA are expected to back the implementation of video assistant referees following the country's disappointing exit, and trials of the system are already underway in many countries with FIFA recently utilising the technology at the Under-17 World Cup held in India.

Meanwhile, Evans' wife Lisa had apologised for a racist tweet at the referee shortly after the first-leg, and the midfielders admitted that he could not do much regarding the response, he added: "I have no control over what people write on social media, just as I have no control over the decision the referee made on Thursday night. It has been dealt with and hopefully, that is the end of it."

Evans' focus will now be on Blackburn Rovers, who are currently jostling for the playoff spots in League One. The Lancashire have been picked as second favourites by the bookies to secure Championship promotion, but they are for now eight points adrift of an automatic promotion place.