England manager Roy Hodgson leapt to the defence of Jamie Vardy, claiming the Leicester City forward did not dive to earn a penalty as he was sent off last week.
Leicester’s Premier League title hopes were dealt a slight blow when Vardy was shown a second yellow card for simulation after going to ground in the penalty area during Sunday’s 2-2 draw with West Ham.
Vardy came together with Angelo Ogbonna in a tangling of legs in the 18-yard box, with the England international now facing an extended ban after being charged with improper conduct by the Football Association (FA) for a tirade at referee Jon Moss.
However, Hodgson said the 29-year-old forward was unlucky to be sent off at King Power Stadium and admits he had no concerns over the player’s temperament as Euro 2016 looms.
“You take what the player brings,” Hodgson said.
“Vardy got sent off at the weekend. But again, I will go out on a limb. I don’t see that as a dive. I don’t think it was a penalty either. I think he was unbalanced, running at that speed.
“There was a very slight contact with the defender, who was trying to cover. He [Vardy] went down because he was unbalanced. I don’t think he was trying to dive.
“But, of course, all the pundits I hear say he was trying to dive, ‘look how he dived’. I wouldn’t blame him for that. I sympathise with him. He was very, very unlucky.”
Of Vardy’s reaction to his red card, having alleged to have sworn at Moss before leaving the field, Hodgson added: “He has had to swallow the fact that he has been made to leave the field. Then, of course, he has reacted like sometimes human beings react.
“He hasn’t just said to the ref, ‘that is all right, I understand’ and shakes hands and have a good game. He has called him a few names. But he is a human being and that can happen.”
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