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UEFA defends controversial PSG v Man Utd penalty

UEFA explains why controversial VAR penalty was awarded in PSG vs Man Utd

March 8, 2019 By Ali M.
PSG players and several pundits felt the referee was wrong for awarding that last-gasp spot kick, but UEFA has now come out in his defense.

Man United's fairy-tale comeback against PSG had the whole world talking, but a debate arose from the winning goal. Marcus Rashford scored from a penalty with only seconds remaining on the clock en route to a 3-1 win, with the Red Devils going through on the away-goal rule.

However, that spot-kick came with much controversy. The penalty was awarded after a shot from Diogo Dalot struck Presnel Kimpembe's arm before going out. Critics of this decision, mainly PSG players and pundits, argue that the defender's back was turned and that his arm was in a natural position when jumping to block the shot.

Nonetheless, UEFA has now responded with an explanation as to why VAR was used and why the decision was a correct one. European football's governing body came out with a statement in defense of referee Dario Skomina's decision to point to the spot despite the protest from Thiago Silva and Co.

"The VAR, after checking various different angles available to him, recommended to the referee an on-field review following the penalty area incident," their statement read.

"Given that the referee did not recognize the incident clearly during live play (referred to as serious missed incident in the VAR protocol) an on-field review was conducted.

"Following the on-field review, the referee confirmed that the distance that the ball traveled was not short and the impact could therefore not be unexpected. The defender’s arm was not close to the body, which made the defender’s body bigger thus resulting in the ball being stopped from traveling in the direction of the goal. The referee, therefore, awarded a penalty kick. 

"All the above-mentioned decisions were made in full compliance with the VAR protocol."

While not many dispute the use of VAR to review that incident, UEFA's explanation may do little in help convincing the critics of that penalty decision. Neymar is one of them, launching a foul-mouthed attack on the officials after that tie.

Neymar watches in shock as PSG crashes out due to that penalty

"Disgraceful. Four guys who know nothing about football watch a slow-motion replay in front of a TV. It was nothing! What can he do with his hand while his back is turned? Go f**k yourselves!" the Brazilian wrote on social media. He is now facing a ban for these comments.

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