Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta faces charges from The Football Association following his criticism of referees in the aftermath of the team’s contentious 1-0 loss to Newcastle United. Anthony Gordon secured the winning goal, prompting Arteta and Arsenal supporters to express dissatisfaction with VAR checks for the ball going out of play and a potential foul by Joelinton on Gabriel Magalhaes.
Arteta, labeling the decision as “disgraceful,” stated he felt “embarrassed and ashamed” by the officiating of the match. The FA has officially charged Arteta under FA Rule E3.1 for his post-game comments, alleging that they constitute misconduct by being insulting towards match officials, detrimental to the game, and bringing the game into disrepute.
In a statement, the FA declared, “Mikel Arteta has until Tuesday, 21 November, to provide a response to this charge.”
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Despite Arteta’s objections, Howard Webb, the chief of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the organization overseeing all officiating in England, stood by the decision to allow the goal. Speaking on Sky Sports’ Match Officials: Mic’d Up, Webb explained, “We see the ball getting very close to the goal line, and don’t forget we’ve got an assistant referee who was right in line. The ball doesn’t have a lot of pace as it moves toward the goal line, so he is looking right along the goal line, better than any of our cameras.”
Webb emphasized the curved nature of the ball, noting that it can overhang the line, and clarified the need for evidence to confirm it is out. Regarding the challenge by Joelinton on Gabriel, he acknowledged the potential for a foul, stating, “It could be a foul, it might be a foul.” The VAR, according to Webb, determined that the footage did not provide clear evidence to warrant intervention for a review of a clear error.
Webb defended the non-intervention, stating, “The fact that opinion is divided after extensive analysis since the situation suggests that the decision not to intervene was correct due to that subjectivity.”
“In this uncommon scenario, the ball passes between two players, making it challenging to pinpoint the exact moment Joelinton loses possession. Therefore, there is no conclusive evidence indicating that Gordon was offside when the ball was last played to him. The VAR thoroughly examined this situation, finding no clear evidence that justified intervention to overturn the goal. The process, in fact, adhered to the correct protocol.”