The organisation representing English football’s top-flight referees effectively conceded Sunday that the VAR decisions to disallow West Ham and Newcastle goals this weekend were wrong as it promised to “fully co-operate” with a Premier League review of the incidents. The Professional Game Match Officials’ (PGMOL) Board took the unusual step of “acknowledging” the specific controversies in a statement issued Sunday. VAR decisions in matches are already reviewed by a five-strong independent panel made up of representatives of the Premier League and the PGMOL as well as three former players. Their findings are sent to the clubs concerned.
Such was the controversy generated when West Ham were denied a late equaliser at Stamford Bridge, and Newcastle a goal in their 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace, that the PGMOL has agreed to this additional layer of scrutiny.
“PGMOL acknowledge the incidents to disallow the goals in the Chelsea v West Ham and Newcastle v Crystal Palace fixtures,” said a PGMOL statement.
“We will fully co-operate and collaborate with the Premier League and their request to review these two particular incidents, using the outcome as part of the ongoing assessment of weekly performances and the development of our match officials going forward.”
West Ham manager David Moyes was furious after a controversial finish to his team’s 2-1 loss at Chelsea where the Hammers’ Maxwel Cornet had a late equaliser disallowed by VAR.
Match referee Andy Madley awarded the goal, having no issues regarding Jarrod Bowen’s contact with Edouard Mendy after the Chelsea goalkeeper spilled the ball.
VAR, however, instructed Madley to review the incident on the pitchside monitors and the goal was chalked off.
“I’m amazed that VAR sent the referee for him to see it,” said Moyes. “But I thought even if he goes to the TV there’s no way he’s overturning this, because this is a goal.
“It was a ridiculously bad decision.”
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe was more restrained in his response to seeing an own goal by Tyrick Mitchell of Crystal Palace overturned.
Referee Michael Salisbury ruled it out for a foul by Joe Willock on goalkeeper Vicente Guaita but Howe said: “I didn’t think it should have been disallowed, personally, I thought it was a foul or a push on Joe Willock in the build-up to the ball coming in.
“If anything, it’s a penalty if it’s not a goal, so I was very surprised with the outcome.”
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