A video review official has been removed from his Champions League game on Wednesday, one day after having a key role in a disputed decision to award Paris Saint-Germain a stoppage-time penalty for handball against Newcastle which contradicted Uefa's own advice to referees.
The VAR specialist from Poland, Tomasz Kwiatkowski, is no longer listed to work at the Real Sociedad-Salzburg game and has been replaced by a German match official.
In Paris on Tuesday, Kylian Mbappe scored in the eighth minute of stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw after a ball struck Newcastle defender Tino Livramento in the chest and then deflected off his arm, and a penalty was awarded by Polish referee Szymon Marciniak following a VAR review.
Marciniak refereed the Champions League final last season and the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar with Kwiatkowski in his team. Marciniak initially allowed play to continue on Tuesday but awarded the penalty after he was advised by his video assistant to review the incident on the pitchside monitor.
However, a Uefa panel of storied coaches and former players said in April that “no handball offence should be called on a player if the ball is previously deflected from his own body, and, in particular when the ball does not go towards the goal.”
The advice to be given to match officials this season was detailed by the panel, chaired by Uefa chief of football Zvonimir Boban, in an April 25 statement headlined “Uefa football board urges more clarity on handball rule.”
"The handball rule, for example, will always be disputed, but we can make it more consistent and aligned with the game's true nature,” Boban, the former Croatia and AC Milan great, said in April.
Uefa declined to comment on Wednesday, in line with a policy not to discuss field of play decisions.
The current laws of the game allow for handballs to be penalised even if the contact was not intentional and after a deflection if a defender's arm is judged to be in an unnatural position.
Dortmund silence doubters
Milan: Borussia Dortmund have proved the doubters wrong by securing qualification from a Champions League group of heavy hitters, head coach Edin Terzic said, after his side won 3-1 at AC Milan on Tuesday.
Drawn alongside Paris St-Germain, Newcastle United and Milan, Dortmund got off to a woeful start in their campaign by taking just a point from their opening two matches, but then won three games straight to ensure a top-two finish in Group F.
“We all remember that evening after the draw when they reported about the ‘Group of Death,’” Terzic told reporters.
“We also remember the first game in Paris when everyone told us after the defeat now it’s going to be difficult.
“And then after the 0-0 at home against Milan, they said, yes, now it’s over. And then we went there as leaders in this group,” he added.
Terzic said injury issues made things difficult ahead of the Milan game.
“We didn’t talk about it like that before the game, but you got a message almost every 30 minutes, every 60 minutes,” he added.
“The (doctor) came with new information, who can make the squad, who can’t, who can play a half and who can’t... it wasn’t easy and yet the lads fought their way through it today.”