The chief refereeing officer of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), Howard Webb, has contacted Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion to admit significant VAR errors during Saturday’s Premier League games.
VAR review showed Ivan Toney’s 74th-minute equaliser for Brentford at the Emirates Stadium should have been chalked off, but Lee Mason checked and cleared the incident.
However, it was later revealed that Mason did not fully investigate the event and had forgotten to draw lines to determine whether or not Christian Norgaard was in an offside position when he crossed for Toney’s goal.
Brighton’s Pervis Estupinan also appeared to have broken the deadlock in the 32nd minute at Selhurst Park, but the goal was disallowed for offside after a VAR review.
However, upon further investigation, it was determined that the goal was incorrectly ruled out as the VAR official in charge, John Brooks, appeared to draw the offside line from the wrong defender in the incident.
PGMOL have now released a statement claiming they have reached out to both clubs affected and explained that the officials’ mistakes were down to ‘human error’.
“PGMOL can confirm its Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb has contacted both Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion to acknowledge and explain the significant errors in the VAR process in their respective Premier League fixtures on Saturday,” the statement read.
“Both incidents, which were due to human error and related to the analysis of offside situations, are being thoroughly reviewed by PGMOL.”
PGMOL’s statement comes after both affected clubs were left aggrieved by the incidents, which could potentially have damning consequences, especially for Arsenal’s title hopes.
Mikel Arteta’s side could have gone eight points clear of reigning champions Manchester City with a win in the London derby. Instead, they remain five points ahead, with both sides set for a potential title decider on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, Brighton could have moved closer to fifth placed Tottenham Hotspur, but the Seagulls remain four points behind the north Londoners with two games in hand.
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