UEFA 'respond' as Newcastle United lodge complaint over PSG controversy

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Alan Shearer has already told Newcastle United how UEFA are feeling about the Paris Saint-Germain penalty controversy.

Newcastle United are seeking clarity from UEFA over the decision to award Paris Saint-Germain a stoppage-time penalty during Tuesday's Champions League Group F clash.

The Magpies led 1-0 through Alexander Isak's first-half opener and were minutes away from recording a famous victory when Tino Livramento was penalised for a handball inside the area.

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Referee Szymon Marciniak initially waved PSG's appeals but was instructed by VAR official Thomas Kwiatkowski to review the decision at the pitchside monitor.

AFP via Getty Images

The slow-downed replay showed Ousmane Dembele's cross hit the chest of Livramento before deflecting on his arm but Marciniak pointed to the spot and Kylian Mbappe levelled in the 98th minute.

Following a UEFA board meeting in April this year, the board recommended "UEFA should clarify that no handball offence should be called on a player if the ball is previously deflected from his own body and, in particular, when the ball does not go toward the goal."

That advice was ignored at the Parc des Princes and UEFA responded by removing Kwiatkowski from the Champions League tie involving Real Sociedad and RB Salzburg 24 hours later.

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Speaking ahead of this evening's Premier League clash against Manchester United, Magpies' head coach Eddie Howe confirmed the club had reached out to UEFA.

He said: “We have asked for clarity, but the moment has gone, the decision has gone for us, but obviously, you're trying to help the game reach better decisions.

"But I think any football fan watching that – unless you're from the PSG perspective - would probably say that's not a penalty. You want the correct decision for the football match being given in most circumstances.

"I think if the referee makes a decision and is told by VAR to look at the screen, I'd love the referee keep it to be more from his perspective, rather than be told what to give.

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"What's the point in going over to the screen? You know the result as soon as he goes over. Now, 99 per cent of referees go with the VAR decision, rather than his own opinion. He's looking at the screen and I'm thinking, 'Please be strong enough to go with your initial decision'. Or, 'Please be strong enough to go your opinion, not that of someone who is not at the game'. Because you're both seeing the same images.

"Unfortunately that didn't happen for us but I think that's a positive change for VAR. Let the referee make a more independent decision based on the screen and the image that he's seeing."

Howe admits he would welcome an apology from UEFA. He added "I don't think it's meaningless. If there is an acknowledgement that there was a mistake, that this was why the mistake happened, I think that's a good thing for the game.

"We all make mistakes. I don't think we can look at football as if we're robots. I make mistakes. The players make mistakes. Referees make mistakes. It's part of the game. If I make a mistake to a player or any situation, I'll always apologise and hold my hand up to that mistake. I think that's important.

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"That's the process we go down and I think that's healthy, but then it's about trying to improve the processes and trying to improve the decision-making to make sure they improve long-term."

While Newcastle are yet to receive an official explanation from UEFA, club legend Alan Shearer claims to have spoken with the European body, who are "angry" and "disappointed" at what happened.

Shearer told The Rest is Football podcast: “I spoke to them [UEFA] this morning and to be fair to them, they were as angry as we were, they were as disappointed as what we were in the decision and they said that the referee and the VAR knew straight away after the game that they had made a huge error and they would no longer be involved in the games this evening [Wednesday] or in the next round of games which are in two weeks’ time, they will be off those games as well. But they won’t be commenting and it was okay for me to say that.”

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