PGMOL officials admit VAR ‘failure’ to Mikel Arteta in Arsenal’s loss to West Ham

The match officials for Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat against West Ham told Mikel Arteta that VAR was unable to conclusively determine whether the ball had gone out of play for the Hammers’ controversial opening goal.

Tomas Soucek opened the scoring for David Moyes’ side on 13 minutes on Thursday evening, slotting home from Jarrod Bowen’s low cross.

Former Gunners defender Konstantinos Mavropanos made it 2-0 early in the second half, powering a header in off the crossbar.

Despite having 77 touches in the opposition box – the most of any Premier League team without scoring for 15 years – Arsenal couldn’t get back into the contest.
But the controversy surrounding West Ham’s opening goal left Gunners fans furious, with VAR deciding that the ball had not gone out of play before Bowen’s cross.
VAR did not have the correct camera angle available to determine whether the ball had crossed the line, so had no conclusive evidence that it had. As a result, the decision was made to allow the goal to stand.

Regardless, however, there is no guarantee that any alternative angle would have forced the decision to change.
Speaking after the game, Arteta revealed what the officials told him – and was critical that the technology wasn’t clear enough to give a definitive answer on whether the goal should have stood or not.

He said (quotes via Sky Sports): “I haven’t seen it. The only thing they [the officials] said was the image was not conclusive.

“It’s just a shame that the technology that we have is not that clear that we can say it’s out of play. It’s done, it’s gone and there’s nothing we can do about it now.”

Meanwhile, former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg told Amazon Prime: “There is no other decision the match officials can give.
The assistant referee, who is on the goal line, cannot see clearly if the ball has gone out of play.

“The on-field decision is a goal. When you look at all the evidence, we cannot be 100 per cent certain that the ball has gone out.”

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