Premier League referees told to show greater leniency in handball decisions from this weekend after new rules caused chaos…. yet the penalty Eric Dier conceded against Newcastle would STILL be given!
- The Premier League has been united in outrage over the new handball rule
- Starting this weekend, referees will officiate games with a greater leniency
- But Eric Dier’s controversial handball on Sunday would still result in a penalty
A U-turn on handballs will see referees allowed to consider whether players have had time to react – along with a number of other considerations – from this weekend.
Following outrage over a spate of controversial decisions after the implementation of a new, stricter definition of the rule, clubs were told on Tuesday that top-flight officials would now be given more leniency.
A document seen by Sportsmail states that – from the next round of matches – ability to react, arm position and whether the ball has hit the arm from a direct shot at goal will be considered.
Andy Carroll headed the ball against Eric Dier’s arm to earn Newcastle a penalty at Tottenham
Manager Steve Bruce opposed the penalty decision that helped earn Newcastle United a point
On Sunday, Newcastle were awarded a penalty when the ball was headed against the arm of Tottenham’s Eric Dier from behind.
The Spurs player was oblivious to the offence he was adjudged to have committed, but gave away a penalty which the visitors converted to secure a 1-1 draw.
Despite the greater leniency – it would still be likely to be given from this weekend as Dier’s hand was raised above the shoulder.
The Dier penalty is one of six given this season for handball, compared with none at the same stage last season. Slides shown to clubs dealt with each one and showed that three would be overturned.
The first was the spot-kick awarded against Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof, when a shot by Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew struck his hand from point black range.
Given Lindelof’s arm was in ‘an expected position’, along with limited time to react, it would not have been given.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has been vocal against the new handball rules
Everton’s 2-1 victory at Palace on Saturday featured a penalty given for handball against the Eagles’ Joel Ward.
But the document again says the Palace man’s arm was in an expected position and that he, like Lindelof, had limited time to react and so would not be penalised.
The last of the three was a penalty given against Tottenham’s Matt Doherty, whose arm touched the ball in the area following a deflected cross in Spurs’ 5-2 romp at Southampton earlier this month.
Again, reaction time, coupled with the deflection changing the ball’s path, would be considered and no penalty awarded.
This season stricter interpretations of the law have been brought in after rulemakers International Football Association Board (IFAB) changed its definition. The boundary between the shoulder and arm is now deemed to be the bottom of the armpit.
Anything below is deemed to be handball. The rule will remain the same but the new leniency will be welcomed by clubs and players.
Following the Newcastle penalty, which came deep into injury time, Dier hit out. ‘Something has to change,’ he said, adding the rule was now ‘a massive problem’.