Writing in the Mail on Sunday, former referee Chris Foy became one of only a handful of people to say that Andre Marriner and Kevin Friend got the Arsenal penalty decision correct, despite what the law actually says and the paper itself contradicting him in a later article.

Arsenal penalty decision - Burnley handball not given as an Arsenal penalty
Arsenal penalty decision – Burnley handball not given as an Arsenal penalty

There was unusual widespread agreement that Arsenal were denied a clear penalty against Burnley, one of a number of VAR decisions that have wrongly gone against Arsenal this season.

Of course, agreeing that Arsenal were hard done by is harder for some than others which can be the only reason Chris Foy has decided to back up his own chums instead of giving his opinion based on what the actual laws of the game.

Funny that, even when they retire they don’t seem able to apply the laws of the game to Arsenal the way they apply to others.

Chris Foy in the Mail on Sunday, March 7 2021
Chris Foy in the Mail on Sunday, March 7 2021

Writing in a section hilariously called ‘expert view’, Foy says, “There is no doubt the ball hits Erik Pieters’ arm and I understand why Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe would want a penalty.

“But I’m happy the right decision was made by referee Andre Marriner and that it wasn’t a spot kick. It is to do with proximity and a lack of available reaction time. They are too close together. I understand why Marriner didn’t give it — it is a subjective call and it was not an obvious error.”

Arsenal penalty decision – why they say it wasn’t given

So, Foy says it was the right decision because of ‘proximity’ – in otherwords, it was too close, the same reasoning given by the match officials.

Except that isn’t a reason to deny the penalty according to the laws of the game which state:

Handball Law
Handball Law

The Mail on Sunday even go on to contradict Foy’s opinion in a later piece in which they bemoan the ever-changing handball law (arrow mine):

Mail on Sunday
Mail on Sunday
Referee Stuart Attwell views a VAR screen after Leeds United's Liam Cooper fouled Arsenal's English striker Bukayo Saka during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 14, 2021. (Photo by CATHERINE IVILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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