PGMOL under scrutiny over surprising VAR mistake made by Chris Kavanagh during the Chelsea vs. Arsenal match.

John Terry described Chelsea’s penalty decision against Arsenal as “harsh” after William Saliba handled a Mykhailo Mudryk header. The Blues raced out of the blocks in a London derby at Stamford Bridge, with Enzo Fernandez scoring after Conor Gallagher’s close-range shot was stopped.

as a quarter-hour, Chelsea were given a great opportunity to grab the lead as VAR advised Chris Kavanagh to check the pitchside monitor. The incident occurred after Mudryk met a Raheem Sterling cross ahead of Saliba, with his header touching the Frenchman’s stray arm, resulting in a penalty, which was scored by Cole Palmer.

“Delighted we got the Penalty but I don’t agree with the rules on this, very harsh on defenders,” he commented on X (previously Twitter). I would have been furious if that had been used against me back then. But I’m pleased today.”

The hand ball regulation has changed several times in recent years, and it is still unclear to some what constitutes an offense, with the current FA and PGMOL phrasing being as follows:

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“It is an offense for a player to touch the ball with their hand/arm when their body has grown unnaturally large.” When the position of a player’s hand/arm is not a result of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation, the player is said to have made their body unnaturally bigger. By placing their hand/arm in this posture, the player risks having their hand/arm hit by the ball and being penalized.”

Despite going up for a header, which normally results in both arms pulling away from the body in an attempt to increase speed and height, Saliba was handed a penalty. Chelsea great Terry has now weighed in on the penalty, sympathizing with Saliba.

Gary Neville, presenting on Sky Sports, thought that the ruling was harsh: “It hits William Saliba’s arm, there is no doubt about that.” I believe he may be in some trouble here. Coming off the back of Everton’s earlier game [against. Liverpool], I’d guess this is going to be given.

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“It’s all about whether Saliba’s arm is there to win the ball – it’s certainly above, out, and away from his body.” Is he just utilizing that arm to obtain leverage or an advantage? The truth is that it doesn’t matter. Nobody knows what a penalty is anymore, but it’s consistent with what we saw in today’s Merseyside derby.”

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