PGMOL chief admits miscarriage of justice for missed Odegaard handball against Liverpool

PGMOL chief admits miscarriage of justice for missed Odegaard handball against Liverpool Match

Last Christmas Eve, Liverpool and Arsenal met at Anfield in a duel for the top spot in the Premier League. In the match at Anfield, the away team scored the first goal in the first four minutes, and although the goal by Mohamed Salah in the 29th minute caught up with the away team, the match ended in a tie of 1 point.

The match was a close match and enjoyable until the very end, but the problem occurred in the 19th minute.

Salah’s trap was deflected and the ball hit the hand of Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard, who was covering, and by this season’s standards, it should have been awarded as a penalty kick.

However, the referee on the day judged that Odegaard had folded his arms, and no penalty was awarded.

However, looking back at the video, it was clear that the Norwegian midfielder’s hand was moving in the direction of the ball and that he had intentionally put his hand in the path of the ball.

The misjudgement against Tottenham Hotspur and questionable red cards for Alexis Mac Allister and Curtis Jones this season have shaken confidence in the Professional Referees’ Guild of England (PGMOL).

Howard Webb, chief of the PGMOL, expressed his view on the missed handball in the big game and argued that a penalty should have been given.

“The on-field referee recognised Odegaard had slipped and saw his arm go towards the ground. We’ve talked in the past about supporting arms if someone falls or breaks their fall with their arm, it’s a pretty well-established concept.”

“In this situation, though, there’s an important difference to a normal player that’s fallen. This is not just Odegaard accidentally falling onto the ball, his arm does go out but then he pulls his arm back in towards his body which is when the ball makes contact with his arm.”

“The VAR looked at that aspect. He thought it was a case of Odegaard trying to make himself smaller by bringing his arm back to his body. That is the element that’s important here. Whether it’s instinctive or deliberate, he gets a huge advantage by bringing the arm back towards the ball.”

“The feedback we got back afterwards was very clear, the game expects a penalty in this situation and I would agree. As such, this one did not reach the right outcome on that basis.”

Sky Sports