Brighton vs Man United: The law that explains why United were awarded penalty after full-time

Man United were awarded a penalty after full-time

The Premier League's early kickoff brought us plenty of drama on Saturday afternoon. 

Manchester United beat Brighton 3-2 thanks to a penalty scored in the 100th minute... after the final whistle had been blown. 

Bruno Fernandes stepped up and ensured all three points went back to Old Trafford with the final kick of the game.

It truly was a remarkable finish, considering Brighton had equalised in the 95th minute. Graham Potter's side deserved at least a draw too, but it was snatched away from them.

After referee Chris Kavanagh blew the final whistle, he was instructed by VAR to take a look at a suspected handball by Neal Maupay in the dying moments. 

Sure enough, after going to the video monitor, he awarded the spot-kick. Heartbreaking for Brighton. 

But Seagulls fans will argue the game was over, right? Well, to the letter of the law, apparently not. 

Brighton vs Man United was full of drama

There's been plenty of debate around the controversial decision to restart play after the final whistle, but Kavanagh did make the right decision. Here's why. 

According to GOAL, Man Utd were awarded a penalty because the handball incident occurred prior to referee blowing for the full-time whistle, which allowed for VAR to check the incident.

Games are allowed to be restarted following a VAR check, despite the whistle to signal the end of the play.

VAR awarded Man United the penalty

According to the International Football Association Board (IFAB), there are no time restrictions for reviewing incidents.

"There is no time limit for the review process as accuracy is more important than speed," the rules state. 

"The referee and other match officials must always make an initial decision (including any disciplinary action) as if there was no VAR (except for a ‘missed’ incident).

"The review process should be completed as efficiently as possible, but the accuracy of the final decision is more important than speed. 

The referee was within his rights to award the spot kick

"The referee will then take/change/rescind any disciplinary action (where appropriate) and restart play in accordance with the Laws of the Game." 

So there we have it. Man United were correctly awarded a penalty after the final whistle on Saturday. That won't make it any less upsetting for Brighton fans, though. 

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