It was the scene that decided the game shortly after the change of sides in the Champions League round of 16: Dortmund's Marius Wolf got the ball after a cross, and according to the video images, the Dutch referee Danny Makkelie decided on a penalty. A hard, if not unjustified, decision. Dortmund's jubilation over the penalty missed by Kai Havertz quickly subsided because the video referee intervened again. Several players from both teams had already run into the penalty area before the shot was taken, and Dortmund's Salih Özcan then sent the ball bouncing off the post out of bounds. The result: the penalty had to be repeated. But did he really have to? German experts disagree with Makkeli's and VAR's decision.
Manuel Gräfe, one of the best German referees for years, criticized VAR's decision that night. "The VAR intervention for the repeat is not even correct. Not recognizable without viewing slow-motion Prime, but Özcan does not prevent anyone. Among other things, Can would be on the ball in front of Fernandez. No intervention!" Gräfe wrote on Twitter and shared a screenshot the scene. The 49-year-old referred to the official statutes when the video referee may intervene when a penalty is repeated. Accordingly, the non-public statutes for the VAR state that this may only intervene if the incoming defender prevents an attacker from playing the ball and thus prevents a goal.
"Collina's heirs" also allude to exactly the same passage, which also explains on Twitter why the penalty should not have been repeated. "But Özcan didn't do that. Only Havertz was near him, but he wasn't allowed to play the ball that bounced back from the post because otherwise there would have been a double touch," the experts judge. Although Özcan gained an advantage by running into the penalty area early on, he did not prevent any attacker from trying to score again. "According to the IFAB manual, there was actually no reason to intervene," it continues.
An extremely annoying decision for BVB, because Makkelie initially didn't interrupt the game of his own accord, although he should have done so. Because the rule book stipulates that if players from both teams run into the penalty area before taking it, the penalty must be retaken - regardless of whether it was missed or resulted in a goal. If Makkelie had ordered a replay, that would have been the right decision – but VAR intervention was not allowed in the situation and thus led to the decisive 2-0 for Chelsea. In this way, a technically correct decision became a wrong decision.
Sources: Handbook IFAB, Twitter