Newcastle United fury as VAR ‘conveniently overlook’ major Premier League decision

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Howard Webb has been accused of only releasing audio for VAR decisions that make them look good.

Newcastle United featured heavily on Monday Night Football last night as chief refereeing officer Howard Webb took Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher through VAR’s decision to disallow United’s penalty against Arsenal last week.

The move to release the audio from VAR decisions is said to be a “small step forward” to provide clarity around on-pitch incidents. However, for many Toon fans the segment was agitating due to a major omission.

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Webb told the presenters: “Tonight is obviously something new. We’re making a small step forward. Going forward into next season we will look to do more of the same.

“We can’t play it live, Fifa don’t allow us to play it out during the game - who knows where that might go in the future - but there is nothing to stop us showing that information later.”

Newcastle United fans were annoyed, however, because they believe the clips shown were chosen to make VAR look good: the Arsenal penalty decision was shown to be the right call. They also released the audio for Joelinton’s first goal against West Ham where VAR correctly overturned the initial offside call.

Naturally, this resulted in United supporters all thinking the same thing.

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One fan tweeted: ‘I take it the VAR audio for Elliot Anderson’s disallowed goal Vs Forest will be locked in a vault until the end of days,’ whilst another said: ‘Funny how they didn’t show the Elliot Anderson one at forest.’

Elliot Anderson’s first senior goal for the club against Nottingham Forest in March was disallowed after VAR ruled Sean Longstaff offside in the run up to it.

Newcastle United midfielder Elliot Anderson celebrates after scoring a goal at the City Ground which was later disallowed.Newcastle United midfielder Elliot Anderson celebrates after scoring a goal at the City Ground which was later disallowed.
Newcastle United midfielder Elliot Anderson celebrates after scoring a goal at the City Ground which was later disallowed.

The decision left fans, experts and pundits alike all confused by the decision. Gary Neville said immediately after the game: ‘“For me, he [Felipe] has definitely played that ball.

“I’ve been there many times as a defender, where I’ve obviously tried to clear it and it has not quite gone where I wanted it to. I’m a little bit bemused. There might be a lot cleverer people than me that will explain why that is a deflection and not a deliberate play.”

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Instead of clarity the move has wound Newcastle fans up as they believe they’ll never get to the bottom of the more controversial decisions.

It seems no Toon supporter anywhere will ever get over Anderson’s moment being taken away from him.

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