Mike Dean has apparently admitted he got it wrong when he awarded West Brom a penalty in the dying stages of the 1-1 draw on New Year’s Eve.
The official saw the ball hit Calum Chambers arm and incorrectly adjudged it to have been deliberate handball. It sparked huge controversy, with Arsene Wenger subsequently picking up a three match ban for comments made to Dean after the game.
Now, according to Mike Riley, head of PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited), he’s owned up to his error and said that had VAR been in play the decision would have been overturned.
Speaking about the use of technology to assist referees, Riley said, “I think Chambers would have been overturned. The question you ask is, is it an act of deliberate handball?
“And the reverse angle shows him trying to bring his arm out of the way of the ball, rather than the reverse.
“I know Mike would have overturned it. He messages people, and he’s a very honest guy, and he goes, ‘I got it wrong’. He knows he did.”
A very honest guy indeed.
Of course none of this is any solace to Arsenal fans, who saw their team drop two points at the Hawthorns, or Wenger who served the first game of his ban in the stand as the Gunners went down 4-2 to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup yesterday.
Dean, meanwhile, will likely face no punishment for getting an easy decision that wrong. And so it goes.