While the call is technically correct, the penalty given to PSG in the final minute of their 1-1 Champions League group stage match with Newcastle United left a sour taste in Newcastle fans’ mouths.

Referee Szymon Marciniak gave the handball against Newcastle which Kylian Mbappé eventually scored due to what he was hearing from the VAR official.

As a result, ESPN has reported that the VAR official who awarded the penalty will be removed from VAR duty by UEFA.

Why was penalty against Newcastle United given?

In the UEFA Champions League, the rules are followed by those set forth from IFAB, their rule book reads, ‘making a body unnaturally bigger’ is an offense. The full handball rules used by UEFA state it is handball if a player ‘deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, for example moving the hand/arm towards the ball or touches the ball with their hand/arm when it has made their body unnaturally bigger.’

‘A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and being penalized.’

VAR has come under fire as of late due to a lot of “soft” penalty kicks being given that upon review can be passive. While the tool of VAR is leveling the playing field for teams, it can also be a big factor when misinterpreted in a match.

Newcastle United, who could have sealed a major win to get to the knockout rounds, are still third in their group. Borussia Dortmund are first with 10 points, PSG second with 7, while Newcastle and AC Milan have 5.