As Mikel Arteta criticized the refereeing in Saturday’s Premier League loss to Newcastle United, Arsenal declared that they “wholeheartedly support” him and urged the referees body (PGMOL) to investigate refereeing standards.
Arteta delivered a harsh evaluation of the match officials and the Premier League’s standards, saying he felt “embarrassed” and “sick” following Anthony Gordon’s contentious goal in Newcastle’s 1-0 home victory over his team.
Arsenal suffered their first league loss of the season, but the goal was upheld after VAR took several minutes to determine whether the ball went out of play, whether there was a foul during the build-up, and whether the player was offside.
“Arsenal Football Club wholeheartedly supports Mikel Arteta’s post-match comments after yet more unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors on Saturday evening,” the club said in a statement on Sunday.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world with the best players, coaches and supporters, all of whom deserve better.
“PGMOL urgently needs to address the standard of officiating and focus on action which moves us all on from retrospective analysis, attempted explanations and apologies.”
This season, the PGMOL has come under growing pressure following a number of controversial VAR decisions. The most well-known of these was the “human error” that resulted in the disqualification of a legitimate Liverpool goal against Tottenham Hotspur.