Neil Swarbrick, the man whose job it is to oversee the implementation of VAR in the Premier League claimed it was the correct decision.
Speaking on BBC Five Live, he said: “That’s the subjective part – was it in an unnatural place? When you look at it, at no point does Trent Alexander-Arnold’s arm move towards the ball.
“His body posture … his arm is there. His arm has got to be somewhere. His arm is slightly away from his body but that is a neutral, natural position for his stance at that moment in time.
“The ball came from a short distance at pace, and just happened to hit that arm. He didn’t move the arm towards the ball, it just hit the arm.
“Michael Oliver has seen that clearly. That’s what he explained. He said ‘I know it’s hit the arm, but there is no arm movement, it’s come at short distance, I’m comfortable that that’s not deliberate handball’.
“It has to be deliberate in the penalty area to give a penalty. It’s different to scoring a goal, where it can be accidental. To give a penalty it’s got to be deliberate.
“Michael deemed it not to be deliberate. The VAR has looked at that, listened to what Michael said, and it absolutely married up.”
Except that is simply not true.
Not only that, Swarbrick, Oliver and the VAR all failed to see it, which questions either their eyesight or their integrity – take your pick.
Swarbrick also failed to mention the actual letter of the law.
He said it was about whether the arm was “in an unnatural place”.
The law actually states: “It is usually an offence if a player: touches the ball with their hand/arm when: the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger” or when the arm is raised above the head.
From being by his side, Alexander-Arnold’s arm indisputably rises and moves away from his body, therefore making his body “unnaturally bigger”.
VAR has been an unmitigated disaster. And with officials refusing to admit huge errors, and do something about them, it will continue to be so.
By the time the ball reaches Alexander-Arnold and strikes him, his arm has risen to a 45-degree angle