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UEFA Drops VAR Official Over Controversial Handball Decision During PSG Vs Newcastle

UEFA Drops VAR Official Over Controversial Handball Decision During PSG Vs Newcastle

UEFA has reportedly removed the official on VAR duty in the Champions League clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United at Parc des Princes on Tuesday night because he awarded a contentious injury-time penalty to the home side.

UEFA’s action is an obvious indication that the governing body believes VAR official, Tomasz Kwiatkowski’s intervention was an incorrect one that cost Newcastle a historic Champions League triumph.

According to The Mirror, Polish official, Kwiatkowski, who was supposed to officiate Real Sociedad’s Group D match against Salzburg at Reale Arena today [Wednesday, November 29] has been replaced.

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Ivan Bebek, the assistant VAR, has also been removed from Benfica’s home clash with Inter Milan. Although the centre referee of the game, Szymon Marciniak is not billed to officiate on Wednesday, it is evident that UEFA believes there was a blatant VAR error.

The penalty against Newcastle full-back, Tino Livramento [pictured above in a tussle with Achraf Hakimi], who was wrongly adjudged to have handled the ball, was given ostensibly because of UEFA’s strict implementation of the handball law. Kylian Mbappe converted the 98th-minute spot-kick to end the game 1-1. Alexander Isak had shot Newcastle United into the lead on 24 minutes.

Newcastle manager, Eddie Howe was incensed by the controversial decision, which he he said cost his team a significant victory and an even greater opportunity to advance to the Champions League knockout stages.

“I’m still coming to terms with it,” Howe told TNT Sports at full-time.

Howe added: “I didn’t think it was a penalty. What you don’t take into account with those replays is how quick the ball goes. It hits his chest first. If it hits his hands first, well it’s still not a penalty because he’s so close. But you can make more of a case.”

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Newcastle have to defeat AC Milan next month and hope PSG drop points at Borussia Dortmund to seal a spot in the Round of 16. However, a win on Tuesday would have given them total control over the next round of games.

Newcastle were drawn in Group F which was termed ‘the group of death’. Few gave them the edge to seal qualification after their first appearance in the competition in 20 years. The Magpies are currently third on 5 points, one point ahead of AC Milan and two points behind PSG.


By Habeeb Kuranga


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