Arsenal pair escape ban after Chelsea handball incident

Arsenal ‘s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs have both been cleared of their suspensions after referee Andre Marriner mistakenly sent Gibbs off in their 6-0 defeat to Chelsea, BBC reports.

The Football Association’s panel agreed that Marriner sent off the wrong player, and that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal-line handball was not a red card offence.

Therefore both players will not serve any ban and are eligible to face Swansea this evening.

Meanwhile Marriner will continue as the referee for Southampton’s home game against Newcastle on Saturday.

Refereeing officials believed that Marriner, who apologized for the mistake, should be given the opportunity to get over his mistake, instead of being held from refereeing this weekend.

The Gunners has come out to claim that not only was Gibbs wrongfully sent off, but that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s handball did not prevent a goal or goal-scoring chance because Eden Hazard’s shot was going wide.

Fifa’s rule on the incident states that a red card should only be given for “the unacceptable and unfair intervention that prevented a goal from being scored.”

In regards to sending off the wrong player, Professional Game Match Officials Limited, a facility for training referees, stated that these cases are “very rare”.

They said, “While this was a difficult decision, Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player.

“He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue.”