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Never seen before VAR footage released involving Arsenal decision

Howard Webb explains a VAR decision involving Arsenal earlier this season.

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PGMOL chief referee Howard Webb was a guest on Sky Sports Monday Night Football this evening where behind the scenes VAR footage has been released to show why certain decisions were made this season.

Howard Webb explained why Jakub Kiwior’s handball which awarded Newcastle a penalty against Arsenal was overturned. It was a big moment in a match which the Gunners ended up winning 2-0, however the scoreline could have been very different if the on-field referees decision was to stand.

The Magpies thought they had won a spot-kick when Bruno Guimaraes’ shot was blocked by Kiwior’s hand, but VAR intervened to assist referee Chris Kavanagh, who went to the monitor and overturned his initial decision.

In behind-the-scenes footage where you can hear the communication between VAR and the referee showed us why the decision ended up being overturned.

When looking at the replays, VAR referee Stuart Atwell said: “So the arm to me is in a natural position for the action he is making. The ball comes off the thigh and then makes a movement into the arm. I don’t believe that should be a penalty kick.”

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Speaking on Sky Sports, Webb then explained why VAR chose to intervene and the process behind how they came to their final decision.

He said: “I think there’s two things on this one, one being you can clearly see the ball does strike the thigh.

“The shorts move, I think you made that point in commentary on the day, Gary, and also the arm is moving back in towards the body, making the player smaller, so that ball hits the thigh, it might have brushed the arm, but the arm is not in the position that the referee might have thought it was.”

“He thought the arm was away from the body making himself unnaturally bigger. When we talk about something that is clear and obvious, that in itself is a judgement.”

“We’ve got clearly correct decisions at one end of the scale, and clearly wrong ones at the other, then there’s a whole swathe of subjective decisions.”

“I’m really keen to make sure our use of VAR is consistent so our VAR’s at Stockley Park each weekend are recognising the need to look at a situation and get involved – not could be or might be – because they might have different views now what the decision might be.”

“But, they’ll all now recognise when something is clearly wrong and I think the evidence that you see on this one – it shows the shorts moving, the arm’s coming back in – it’s a good use of VAR because it’s different to what the VAR saw.

“There is still some judgement to be made the official in this case because it might have brushed the arm – we don’t know for sure – you might think he’s leaned into so he’ll stick with the penalty decision, but I think he was right to overturn it.”

Howard Webb also explained why Leandro Trossard’s goal against Leicester City was disallowed earlier on this season. Arsenal did end up winning the game 1-0, thanks to a Gabriel Martinelli second-half goal so the VAR decision didn’t have an impact on the result.

Nonetheless The Belgian’s strike was disallowed as Ben White was deemed to have fouled Leicester City keeper, Danny Ward in the build-up. The Arsenal right-back had a hold of Danny Ward’s hand as the corner came in which impacted how far he could punch the ball.

See below the video of Howard Webb explaining why the decision was made to disallow the goal.

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