Man Utd were awarded a match-winning penalty at Brighton following a VAR check from referee Chris Kavanagh - after he had already blown the full-time whistle.

A question: According to the literature, what happens if the VAR identifies a clear mistake in a match-changing incident after the referee has blown the whistle for half-time or full-time?


Law 5 answers this directly. Section 2, Decisions of the Referee provides that

The referee may not change a restart decision on realising that it is incorrect or on the advice of another match official if play has restarted or the referee has signalled the end of the first or second half (including extra time) and left the field of play or abandoned the match. However, if at the end of the half, the referee leaves the field of play to go to the referee review area (RRA) or to instruct the players to return to the field of play, this does not prevent a decision being changed for an incident which occurred before the end of the half.

In effect, the referee can change a decision regarding something that happened before the game ended, even though they have already indicated full time, as long as they're still on the field of play (or have left it to conduct a review or to recall the players).


"There is no time limit for the review process as accuracy is more important than speed" -IFAB

Any match changing decisions/incidents reviewable by VAR can be reviewed even after the restart.

So because the handball happened prior to the referee blowing for full-time it's allowed for VAR to check the incident.


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