PARIS – The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) vs Newcastle United match in the 2023/2024 Champions League group phase leaves a big question mark. The referee who led the match, Szymon Marciniak, was suspected of being intimidated by the crowd so he made a decision that was favorable to PSG.
In the match which took place at the Parc des Princes, Paris, Wednesday (29/11/2023) WIB, hosts PSG managed to avoid defeat against Newcastle United thanks to Kylian Mbappe’s penalty goal at the end of the match. At that time PSG was trailing 0-1 through Alexander Isak’s goal in the 24th minute. The referee then awarded a penalty to the hosts in injury time. Kylian Mbappe, who was the executor, successfully scored a goal in the 90th minute (+8).
The Polish referee, Szymon Marciniak, pointed to the spot after deeming Newcastle defender, Tino Livramento, to have committed handball. This decision was made after the referee was assisted by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Newcastle United coach, Eddie Howe, was actually relieved by the referee’s penalty decision at the end of the match, even though it was clearly detrimental to his team. He said that his team was just unlucky because they failed to win with a return goal at the end of the match.
“I’m still accepting that fact and at the same time very happy with what the players gave today.” Howe said.
However, football observer in Newcastle, Matthew Raisbeck, strongly suspects that the referee’s decision was born after intimidation or pressure from the home fans. He compared that in the Premier League, a ball that touches a player’s chest and then accidentally hits the hand area is not considered handball.
“The ball hit Livramento’s chest then hit his elbow. It won’t be awarded in the Premier League if it hits one part of the body and then hits the arm,” said Raisbeck, quoted from Sports Yahoo.
“I just felt the pressure from Paris St-Germain and the crowd was too much for the referee.” he closed.