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PGMOL under scrutiny over surprising VAR mistake made by Chris Kavanagh during the Chelsea vs. Arsenal match.

PGMOL under scrutiny over surprising VAR mistake made by Chris Kavanagh during the Chelsea vs. Arsenal match.

After William Saliba handled a Mykhailo Mudryk header, John Terry called Chelsea’s penalty call against Arsenal “harsh.” In a London derby at Stamford Bridge, the Blues jumped off to an early lead thanks to a goal from Enzo Fernandez after Conor Gallagher’s close-range attempt was blocked.

Chelsea was given a fantastic chance to take the lead with a quarter to go when VAR instructed Chris Kavanagh to check the pitchside monitor. The incident started when Mudryk headed in a Raheem Sterling cross ahead of Saliba, touching the Frenchman’s errant arm in the process. Cole Palmer then converted the ensuing penalty.

He said on X (formerly Twitter): “Delighted we got the Penalty but I don’t agree with the rules on this, very harsh on defenders.” If that had been used against me back then, I would have been indignant. But today I’m happy.

Although the hand ball rule has undergone a number of changes recently, some people are still unsure of what exactly is considered an infraction. The current FA and PGMOL language is as follows:

“When a player’s body has gotten out of proportion, touching the ball with their hand or arm is prohibited. A player is said to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand or arm is not a result of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that particular situation. The player runs the danger of having their hand or arm hit by the ball and getting penalized by doing so.

Saliba was given a penalty despite going up for a header, which often entails both arms pushing away from the body to try to boost speed and height. The legendary Terry of Chelsea has now commented on the penalty, expressing sympathy for Saliba.

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The verdict, according to Gary Neville, a Sky Sports presenter, “hits William Saliba’s arm, there is no doubt about that.” I think he might be in some difficulty right now. This is probably going to be given considering Everton’s earlier game [against Liverpool].

Saliba’s arm is undoubtedly above, out, and away from his body, thus the question is whether it will be used to win the ball. Is he merely using that arm to gain advantage or leverage? In actuality, it doesn’t matter. Although no one understands what a penalty is nowadays, what we saw in today’s Merseyside derby is consistent with it.

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