Would you change the handball rule? by Dan Smith
When a manager complains about a decision that benefits his team, you know there is something wrong with that particular rule. That’s what Steve Bruce did this weekend after his team received a stoppage time penalty.
In 28 Premiership games played this season, there have been an incredible 20 bullpen. Many of them were caused by VAR, which instead of pointing out obvious errors instead dissects every decision.
Yet, for once, I can’t blame Video Technology for all the number of penalty kicks, but the new laws defining what does and does not constitute a handball.
Ironically, FIFA had only just torn up last year’s rule that any attacking player scoring with the ball having touched his arm, that goal would be disallowed, accidental or not. So after fixing that, they have now caused confusion in the opposite area.
Current legislation for a handball reads…….
The hand/arm is clearly away from the body and out of “body line”.
The player is clearly leaning into the path of the ball.
The ball travels a certain distance.
The ball hits a hand/arm clearly raised above the shoulder.
The player falls and the hand/arm is extended laterally or vertically away from the body.
A deflection clearly makes no difference to the ball hitting a hand/arm that is clearly extended away from the body and/or above the shoulder.
By following this protocol, you can understand why Dier was penalized for his actions on Sunday. Civil servants are paid a lot of money for not agreeing to the rules but for strictly following them. No different from any job. I or you are paid by an employer to adhere to their philosophy and follow their policies and procedures, not necessarily to agree with them.
I feel sorry for the referees because they cannot win under current handball laws.
It’s gotten to the point where players just kick the ball into the box and the moment it hits someone’s body they protest, just because they know Stanley Park is watching everything.
While he was noble after the game, the Newcastle manager didn’t exactly tell Andy Carroll not to call for a pen every time he sent a head into someone’s body.
Think about next weekend. If a referee follows the current guidelines, they know they will be ridiculed by the public for “killing the game”.
Yet they can no longer fear following this protocol, as it would be unfair to those who were punished in the first 3 weeks.
While the games’ governing body needs to step in and rectify its own rules, surely you can’t do it now before pre-season.
You can’t change the rules less than a month into a competition based on a Jose Mourinho strop (funny he didn’t say Spurs were disrespected when they were exempt from the Carabao Cup) or because Gary Neville says so.
The integrity of the sport dictates that everything must be level. You can’t have one rule in September and then a different version in October.
In a game where the margin between success and failure is slim, a Man United or Tottenham could miss out on the top 4 based on recent handball decisions. You can’t let Andy Carroll do what he did at the Lane to win a penalty, but suddenly the same incident resulted in a different decision…
What do you think of the handball rule?
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