Mike Dean has admitted that he was wrong to award West Brom a penalty that earned them a draw against Arsenal on New Year's Eve. 

Calum Chambers was penalised for handball in the 88th minute at the Hawthorns with Jay Rodriguez converting the resulting spot kick to deny Arsenal victory. 

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger then confronted Dean and his team of officials and was fined £40k and given a three-match touchline ban. 

In an interview with the Daily Express, head of referees Mike Riley admitted that Dean knows he got the decision wrong. Riley also discussed how the introduction of VAR will provide the officials with a safety net. 

He said: "You award the penalty because what you have seen on the pitch is the arm coming towards the ball. What is handball can look to you on the field of play if you get one look at it.

"But immediately there is evidence from another camera angle which shows actually the opposite happened. That is the safety net of the VAR.

"I think Chambers would have been overturned. The question you ask is, is it an act of deliberate handball? And the reverse angle shows him trying to bring his arm out of the way of the ball, rather than the reverse. 


"I know Mike would have overturned it. He messages people, and he's a very honest guy, and he goes, 'I got it wrong'. He knows he did."

VAR will make its debut in English football in the FA Cup tie between Brighton and Crystal Palace on Monday evening, but Riley has expressed caution that VAR won't completely end debates over decisions. 


"It's going to take us time. You're actually asking a generation of referees to relearn or learn new processes and skills.

"It will never be 100 percent (perfect) because it's so subjective on certain things and we're asking the clear and obvious question.

"This is a starting point. You're balancing all the time: Let's not re-referee the game; let's keep the flow' versus 'Let's get the key situations right."