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Uefa clarify reasoning behind Man United's VAR penalty decision against PSG

In a retrospective explanation, European football’s governing body cited the distance of the ball as the main factor in awarding the spot kick.

Marcus Rashford scores to send Manchester United into the Champions League quarter final.
Marcus Rashford scores to send Manchester United into the Champions League quarter final.
Image: John Walton

UEFA HAVE CITED the distance of the ball from the player when it was struck as the main factor in awarding Manchester United an injury-time penalty against Paris Saint-Germain, after a VAR review adjudged Presnel Kimpembe to have handled inside the box.

Marcus Rashford stepped up to convert the controversially-awarded spot-kick to knock PSG out of the Champions League on Wednesday night.

In a retrospective explanation of a host of VAR decisions, Uefa said that due to the distance of the ball being struck and the fact that the player’s arm was not down by his body, “the impact could not be unexpected”.

The ruling reads: “The VAR, after checking various different angles available to him, recommended to the referee an on-field review following the penalty area incident.

Uefa handball The ball strikes Kimpembe on the arm. Source: Uefa

“Given that the referee did not recognise 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 travelled 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 travelling 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.”


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Initially, referee Damir Skomina pointed only for a corner after Diogo Dalot’s deflected effort, but the official was called back to review the incident several times before awarding the spot kick.

Manchester United’s victory over PSG made them the first team in the history of Champions League to qualify for the next round having lost the first leg of a knockout match at home by more than two goals.

PSG exited the competition at the round of 16 for the third year running.

Andy Dunne joins Murray Kinsella and Ryan Bailey to discuss Joe Schmidt’s undroppables and how France might attack Ireland’s predictability in The42 Rugby Weekly.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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