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Arteta Says He “Does Not Understand The Rules” After VAR Sent Off Arsenal Player

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Mikel Arteta

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he does not understand the use of pitch-side monitors in the Premier League after the decision to send off Eddie Nketiah in the 1-1 draw with Leicester.

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Referee Chris Kavanagh initially showed Nketiah a yellow card for his high tackle on Justin James.

But after consulting with the VAR officials and viewing a replay himself, he changed this to red.

“In the last year I have never seen a referee check any images,” said Arteta.

“I do not understand the rules. But I can do nothing now.”

Arteta was also unhappy at a challenge by a Leicester player he felt should have resulted in a red card that he identified as happening between the 40th and 45th minute.

It is likely he was referring to a clash between Jamie Vardy and Shkodran Mustafi, in which the Foxes striker caught the defender in the face with his heel. This went unpunished.

“It can be a red card but then Leicester have to play with 10 men,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “For an incident that happened between the 40th and 45th minute, it has to be a red card as well.”

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In January this year, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the body that manages elite referees, issued guidance that referees should start using pitchside monitors for red card decisions where it is felt they should have the final say.

Prior to that, the only time the monitors have been used in 2019-20 is by Michael Oliver in an FA Cup third-round tie between Crystal Palace and Derby County.

As a result, he upgraded a yellow card for Palace’s Luka Milivojevic to a red.

This approach has not been witnessed often since then, with the most notable occasion coming in the game between Southampton and Newcastle in March, when referee Graham Scott upgraded Moussa Djenepo’s yellow to a red after consulting the pitchside monitor.

 


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