VAR official removed following controversy during PSG vs Newcastle United

The French giants were awarded a 97th-minute penalty which Kylian Mbappe converted

By Web Desk
November 29, 2023
Kylian Mbappe (R) argues with Polish referee Szymon Marciniak during the UEFA Champions League. — AFP

A video review official was removed for Wednesday's game between Real Sociedad and Salzburg following a disputed decision during Paris Saint-Germain vs Newcastle United where the latter was awarded a late penalty which helped them draw the match.

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) specialist from Poland, Tomasz Kwiatkowski, will not be in the VAR during today's clash between Sociedad and Salzburg and will be replaced by a German match official.

In a crucial UEFA Champion League (UCL) encounter in Group F, Kylian Mbappe scored a 97th-minute penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw that helped them stay alive in their pursuit of the knockout stages of the tournament.

However, the penalty decision wasn't transparent as the ball hit Newcastle defender Tino Livramento's hand after deflecting off his body and the UEFA had said categorically in April that there would be no penalty awarded if a ball touches a player's body before.

“No handball offence should be called on a player if the ball is previously deflected from his own body, and, in particular when the ball does not go towards the goal," said the UEFA panel of coaches and former footballers in April.

“But his hand is not in an unnatural position,” Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said after the game, “(his hands) are down by his side, but he is in a running motion.”

"I feel it is a poor decision and it´s hugely frustrating for us as you know how little time there is left in the game," Howe said. "There is nothing we can do about it now."

Had Newcastle won yesterday's game, they would've been in a strong position to qualify for the round of 16. However, with five points in as many matches, they need to win against AC Milan on December 13 and hope PSG lose to Borussia Dortmund.