Newcastle boss laments decision ‘injustice’

Howe voices frustration over series of controversial VAR decisions against his team

AFP December 24, 2021


Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has voiced his frustration over a series of controversial VAR decisions that have frustrated the northeast side's bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League, saying they had created a sense of "injustice" among his players.

The Magpies have been denied penalties in each of their last two games and conceded a disputed equaliser at Liverpool, with midfielder Isaac Hayden lying on the turf in the box.

Howe now wants clarity from the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body that oversees Premier League referees, with second-bottom Newcastle three points shy of safety ahead of their match at home to Manchester United on Monday.

"I'm just slightly confused about the use of VAR," Howe said Thursday.

"Initially when VAR was introduced, it was used regularly to try to get the right decision because ultimately that's what we're all after...But for some reason, I think the use has been diluted."

The Englishman added: "All we're asking for is just some clarity on the decisions, really, and how the officials at the time, whether it's on the pitch or the use of VAR, have come to those decisions."

Newcastle had taken a shock lead at Anfield when Diogo Jota levelled after referee Mike Dean allowed play to go on with Hayden lying inside the penalty area having apparently suffered a head injury.

The Magpies went on to lose 3-1, with Ryan Fraser later seeing penalty appeals waved away after he had gone down under Trent Alexander-Arnold's challenge.

The Scotland international on the receiving end again on last weekend when he was taken out by Manchester City keeper Ederson at St James' Park -- but not to the satisfaction of referee Martin Atkinson -- with Newcastle already 2-0 down in an eventual 4-0 defeat.

Howe, asked about the use of VAR, said: "I don't see it effectively intervening as much as it did in the early stages in a positive way, and I feel that's definitely affected us in recent games, where especially looking at Ryan Fraser's incident against Manchester City, you think VAR has to come in.

"There's been definitely a feeling of injustice, I can sense that among the group.

"But it's very much a case of looking to the future and just trying to educate ourselves on why certain things haven't happened and the use of VAR, which I think has definitely been contentious as far as we've been concerned, definitely."


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