Referees chief Howard Webb stands by VAR decision on controversial Newcastle goal against Arsenal

Referees body (PGMOL) chief Howard Webb said there was no conclusive evidence available for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to disallow Anthony Gordon’s goal for Newcastle United against Arsenal earlier this month.

Gordon’s goal at St James’ Park on 4 November was allowed to stand following a lengthy VAR review to check if the ball went out of play, whether there was a foul in the build-up and for offside.

Arteta gave a scathing assessment of the match officials after the 1-0 defeat ended their unbeaten run in the league, with Arsenal backing the Spaniard’s stance.

“We know the ball is curved, so it can be over-hanging the line and we need evidence it’s out, and we don’t have that here,” Webb told Match Officials Mic’d Up on Tuesday.

“The ball then comes over and Joelinton challenges Gabriel (Magalhaes), and it could be a foul, might be a foul. The VAR decides that the evidence from the footage isn’t clear enough to intervene with a recommendation for a review for a clear error.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was furious after Anthony Gordon’s goal was awarded

(Getty Images)

“So again, no conclusive evidence that Gordon was offside when the ball was last touched. The VAR went through that diligently and identified no clear evidence to intervene to overturn the goal. The process was actually correct.”

However, Webb said VAR fell short during Wolverhampton Wanderers’ game against Newcastle last month.

Newcastle were awarded a penalty following a challenge by Wolves’ Hwang Hee-chan on Fabian Schar, a decision Wolves manager Gary O’Neil labelled “scandalous”.

“We feel this is a situation that reaches the threshold for a clear and obvious error even though there is contact and the ball isn’t played by Hwang,” Webb said. “VAR didn’t quite get there and, in our opinion, should have done.”