UEFA has decided to give Tomasz Kwiatkowski, who served as the VAR on Tuesday evening during the Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United, a day off on Wednesday. After the intervention of the Pole, the French were awarded a controversial penalty deep in injury time, resulting in the match ending in a 1-1 draw.
The stakes were high on Tuesday in the Parc des Princes. PSG started the match with a two-point lead over Newcastle, and a defeat would have seen the wealthy club from the French capital enter the sixth and final round of the group stage as the third-ranked team, with elimination looming. That loss seemed imminent, until Kwiatkowski intervened in the sixth minute of injury time.
At that moment, the video assistant referee called his compatriot Simon Marciniak to the sideline to re-examine a potential handball by Newcastle player Tino Livramento. The images show that the Englishman did indeed touch the ball with his arm inside his own box, but since the ball reached there via his chest, awarding a penalty seems to be an excessively harsh decision within the rules.
Unfortunately for the English and luckily for the French, Marciniak thought otherwise and awarded the penalty, after which Kylian Mbappé determined the final score to be 1-1. This result means that it's not PSG but Newcastle who now face the threat of an early exit from the billion-dollar tournament.
Kwiatkowski was scheduled to take his place behind the monitor again on Wednesday, this time for the match between Real Sociedad and Red Bull Salzburg. However, UEFA has replaced him with the German Marco Fritz, according to the English newspaper The Telegraph. Although not officially announced, this move by UEFA suggests, according to the newspaper, that Kwiatkowski's decision was 'a mistake'.