Calls for “honesty” as UEFA stand down VAR after controversial penalty

Written by on 29th November 2023

UEFA have stood down the VAR and Assistant VAR from Champions League games following a controversial penalty decision in the dying moments of Newcastle’s game away to Paris Saint-Germain.

And as the fallout from the 1-1 draw continues, Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah has called on UEFA to be “honest” with fans.

The Parisians were awarded a penalty for a controversial handball against Tino Livramento deep into stoppage time in a decision Toon legend Alan Shearer branded as “disgusting”. Kylian Mbappe converted the spot-kick to earn a draw for PSG and take group-stage qualification out of the Geordies’ hands.

TNT Sports pundit Jermaine Jenas said after the game that he was “fuming” with the call while Match of the Day frontman Gary Lineker described it as “ludicrous” on X.


It has had deep repercussions for Newcastle who now need to beat AC Milan and hope PSG do not win against Dortmund in order to progress in the competition.

Polish VAR Tomasz Kwiatkowski and Croatian AVAR Ivan Bebek were due to work on Sociedad v Salzburg and Benfica v Inter respectively tonight but will no longer be involved in the rest of this UEFA matchday.

It is a move that is likely to provoke anger among some Newcastle fans as it suggests UEFA feel the call was incorrect.

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, whose constituency covers St James’ Park, has said the decision was “heart-wrenching” and called on UEFA to treat fans with “respect and transparency” in the aftermath of the controversial call.

“It is vital that governing bodies treat fans with respect and transparency,” Ms Onwurah told Spark.

“This means being honest, communicating directly, and setting out steps to reassure fans that mistakes won’t happen again.”

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe said after the game “In my opinion it wasn’t the right decision,” also calling the penalty decision “poor.”

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