Maguire and his England team-mates were incensed on Monday night when, after a lengthy VAR check, Manchester City teenager Rico Lewis conceded a penalty in the 1-1 draw with North Macedonia. Lewis was adjudged to have elbowed striker Bojan Miovski in the face, when replays showed it was simply Lewis’s trailing hand.
It comes after a succession of controversial decisions by referees and VARs in the Premier League this season, with criticism of the technology ever-growing.
“Some terrible decisions [went] against us”, Maguire said of England’s draw in Skopje. "We showed good spirit in the second half, we’ll learn a lot from it and I think it’s been a really pleasing year.
“For me, penalties in the last six months, a year or so, all over the world really, but especially in the Premier League and Champions League, are given for anything. They are so soft. They are making life so hard for defenders to defend the way it should be.
“You should be able to defend. You should be able to move your arm; you should be able to move your body; you should be able to make contact; you should be able to move your hands and get there.”
The Manchester United centre-back continued: “Nowadays, penalties are given for everything — for absolutely everything. I understand it’s such an important part of the game — what should be a penalty, what shouldn’t be a penalty. But there’s far too many soft penalties given at the moment.
“I think the threshold of giving penalties definitely needs to change. And I think the Premier League, the biggest league in the world, needs to start it, needs to come up with something, because I’ve seen some penalties in the Premier League since the start of this season which, for me, are just ridiculous.
“It’s not just at my club, watching them each weekend, I see them given for handballs where I don’t know where lads are supposed to put their arms. Minimal contact. It’s a contact sport!
“Starting with the biggest league in the world, which is the Premier League, they need to set the standard and the threshold needs to be a little bit higher than it is at the moment.”