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“Look at it closely”- Former ref gives verdict on Chelsea being denied penalty vs West Ham



Referee Thomas Bramall shows a yellow card to West Ham United's Czech midfielder Tomas Soucekagainst Chelsea. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

VAR was in spotlight after disallowing Chelsea a penalty in the second half

VAR’s questionable judgement in the game, which disallowed the Blues’ apparent penalty, thwarted Chelsea from a deserved lead in the second half.

It was another disappointing evening for Chelsea following a blatant penalty was overruled by VAR in the closing minutes of the game at London Stadium, sparking a debate.

Chelsea and West Ham United were heading to a 1-1 draw when it appeared the Blues had a chance to put themselves in front when Conor Gallagher pounced on a loose ball and fired a low shot towards the goal.

Chelsea's Argentinian midfielder Enzo Fernandez (2L) appeals to Referee Craig Pawson for a penalty. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)
Chelsea’s Argentinian midfielder Enzo Fernandez (2L) appeals to Referee Craig Pawson for a penalty. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Nevertheless, as the ball was heading towards the goal, Hammer defender Tomas Soucek pushed himself to the ground and appeared to block the shot with his hands.

Although it appeared that VAR would accept the verdict after referee Craig Pawson waved away the protest, they also overturned it.

Frustration was shown when VAR’s decision was swiftly criticised by the Chelsea official account on Twitter, as they posted on Twitter, criticising the referee’s decision:

“Soucek makes a great save from Conor Gallagher.”

Peter Walton, a former Premier League official, told BT Sport (via Express.UK) that VAR should have awarded the penalty but provided the following explanation instead:

“The law is quite clear. The law says about making that area unnaturally bigger. The VAR clearly thinks the arm was in a natural position, going down to break his fall.

“If you look at it closely, you see the ball is past his knee and then the arm is there. For me, that is a deliberate act, and I am disappointed the VAR did not give the referee an opportunity to have a second look at it.”

VAR may have made the right choice because the on-field decision takes precedence at such times, but the referee should have been given the opportunity to review the event since everyone has a different perspective and might have awarded us a penalty kick.

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The momentum of a team is seriously impacted by these poor judgements, and we think Soucek should have had a penalty given against him because the ball appeared to be purposely stopped from his hand. If such decisions go unpunished, then why has the video assistant referee been instated in the first place?

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