The Arsenal football club has issued a strong statement backing Mikel Arteta’s criticism of VAR and has strongly criticized the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) for their poor performance. They have called for urgent action to be taken to improve the standard of officiating within the referees’ body. Additionally, Arsenal has stated that the Premier League, known as one of the top competitions in the sport, should maintain high-quality refereeing standards.
Arsenal was upset that Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon scored a winning goal in the 64th minute on Saturday, even though there were three VAR checks that took over four minutes before the referee, Stuart Attwell, confirmed the goal. The VAR, Andy Madley, looked at the goal to see if there was an offside, foul, and if Joe Willock had taken the ball out of play during the buildup. Arteta called the decision to allow the goal “disgraceful” and said it made him feel “sick” and “embarrassed.”
On Sunday, Arsenal issued a statement expressing their disappointment with the refereeing and VAR mistakes that occurred during their loss at St James’ Park. They believe that the Premier League, known for its top players, coaches, and fans, deserves better. They are calling for the PGMOL to improve their officiating standards and focus on proactive measures instead of just apologies and explanations after the fact.
During a tense game, there were several heated moments where both teams lacked discipline according to Newcastle’s manager, Eddie Howe. Arsenal’s Kai Havertz was lucky to not receive a red card for his rough tackle on Sean Longstaff, while Newcastle’s Bruno Guimarães was fortunate to not be punished for elbowing Jorginho.
Arsenal’s statement, to which the PGMOL is yet to respond, ended: “We support the ongoing efforts of [PGMOL’s] chief refereeing officer Howard Webb and would welcome working together to achieve the world‑class officiating standard our league demands.”
The PGMOL was recently compelled to release VAR audio after issuing an apology for incorrectly disallowing Luis Díaz’s goal for Liverpool during their loss to Tottenham. The organization recognized a major mistake made by VAR Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook, who failed to overturn the on-field decision. The Premier League announced that a thorough review of VAR procedures was in the works, citing the Díaz incident as evidence of “systemic failures” in the decision-making process.