Mauricio Pochettino has moved to defend Dele Alli against his recent diving allegations - and believes video assistant referee technology would end up 'killing football'.

The Spurs boss has waded into the debate surrounding the conning of referees and the implementation of VAR as both elements of the sport continue to be hotly debated.

Alli was accused of diving - and yellow carded as a result - during the 2-2 draw with Liverpool last Sunday but, in quotes published by the Daily Mail, Pochettino launched a defence of his young star.


The midfielder has been booked three times in the past couple of seasons for trying to win a penalty amid simulation accusations, and Pochettino queried why diving had become such an issue now when it was seemingly applauded back in the 1980s.

He remarked: "Twenty years ago, 30 years ago, it was like 'all congratulate the player when he tricks the referee'. In Argentina but in England too.

"You believe that in England you were honest and always perfect. That is the football that I was in love with when I was a child. Football is about trying to trick your opponent. Yes or no?

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"The problem now is that we are so sensitive about the situation. And then we are so focused on Dele Alli. 

"If you try to run on the pitch, sometimes you go down and you say, “Oh, because I was focusing on the ball…but in the end, it was clear. 

"It was a yellow card, the referee was right and perfect. It’s too much sometimes. There is such a focus on this type of situation that I think is a minimal issue."

In separate quotes attributed to the Argentine on Sky Sports, Pochettino declared that introducing VAR for every game would end up causing its demise.

Referee Jon Moss, who handed Tottenham two penalties at Anfield, was criticised for asking for the help of TV monitors to make his decisions - and Pochettino claimed that the technology would remove all the drama from matches.

He added: "Football is a creative sport, in which you need the talent, that grows in a very intelligent person, a very smart brain.

"And now we are so focused on minimal details. I am worried. It's a sport that we love, a passionate sport that people love to watch around the world.

"We will be pushing that sport into a very rigid structure with VAR (video assistant referee), with being focused too much on the small actions like this. It's a mix that I am worried that maybe we are going to kill the game. We love this game."