Premier League asking for changes to football’s handball law

Premier League asking for changes to football’s handball law

LONDON — The Premier League is asking football’s lawmakers to allow more flexibility and leniency for referees assessing handballs after being told by players and managers that the current regulations are too harsh.

England’s top division has fielded complaints after a number of incidents in the opening rounds of the season, including that Eric Dier should not have conceded a penalty for Tottenham against Newcastle on Sunday when a ball came off his outstretched, raised arm.

Despite facing away from the ball, Dier was penalized because his arm was adjudged to be in an unnatural position after jumping to challenge Andy Carroll for the ball.

The penalty — awarded after a VAR review — allowed Callum Wilson to score and secure a 1-1 draw for Newcastle in stoppage time at Tottenham.

“You cannot jump without your hands,” Dier told the BBC. “You cannot defend without using your arms to balance and move so it is what it is.”

Premier League referees, though, have to abide by the laws of the game formulated by the International Football Association Board. There is, however, English influence on the panel that first met in the 19th century. The home nations in the United Kingdom — England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — have half of the votes and world governing body FIFA has the other four.

A clarification to the handball law in 2019 stated that hands or arms cannot make a players’ “body unnaturally bigger”.

The Premier League’s Professional Game Match Officials body hopes the Laws of the Game could be updated and will ask IFAB for greater latitude.

Six of the 20 penalties awarded in the opening three rounds of the season have been for handball.

The Premier League has already responded to criticism by encouraging referees to soften their interpretation of handballs while still working within the spirit of the Laws of the Game.

According to a presentation shared within the Premier League, referees have now been told to consider the expected position of the arm — rather than just being outside the body line — when determining whether a handball should be penalized.

“Where the arms are clearly used for balance and/or protection,” the presentation slide states, “it is less likely to be penalized.”

That is also the case “where it is clear the player does not have the ability to react” and when the arm does not clearly block a direct shot.

The Premier League’s interpretation of the law should also see players not penalized if:

— the “ball travels from close proximity where the player has a limited opportunity to respond.”

— the “player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body, but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body.”

Based on the Premier League’s revised guidance for referees to interpret the laws, Victor Lindelof would not have conceded a penalty for Manchester United in a loss to Crystal Palace this month because his arm was in a natural running position.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Rob Harris, The Associated Press

soccer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Hub on Ross has announced it has permanently closed. (Photo courtesy The Hub on Ross Facebook page)
The Hub on Ross in Red Deer to permanently close

The Hub on Ross in Red Deer permanently closed on Wednesday. “The… Continue reading

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

The Red Deer Senior Citizens Downtown House reopened earlier this month, after closing in March due to the pandemic. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Red Deer Senior Citizens Downtown House reopens

The Red Deer Senior Citizens Downtown House was closed for months due… Continue reading

Guy Pelletier, vice-president of the Red Deer region for Melcor Developments. (Contributed photo).
Melcor has to redesign new neighbourhood after Molly Banister decision

City council disagreed with administration’s recommendation to scrap road plans

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Sergio Santos, right, of the Philadelphia Union, loses the race to the ball against goalie Quentin Westberg of Toronto FC during the first half of an MLS match Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Chester, Pa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charles Fox/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP
Frustrated coach Greg Vanney defends banged-up Toronto FC after second straight loss

Frustrated coach Greg Vanney defends banged-up Toronto FC after second straight loss

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Robert and third baseman Justin Turner pose for a group picture after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. Sporting venues and games certainly have super-spreader potential but that risk can be minimized with buy-in from all involved, experts said Wednesday. The subject moved into the spotlight Wednesday after L.A. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19 at the World Series. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eric Gay
Sports’ buy-in needed to prevent super-spreader potential: experts

Sports’ buy-in needed to prevent super-spreader potential: experts

In this image released by Fox, from left, Doug E. Doug, Malik Yoba, Rawle D. Lewis, John Candy and Leon are shown in a scene from the film "Cool Runnings." THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, Fox
Not cool: Jamaican bobsledder wants thief to return stolen shell to Calgary bar

An original member of the Jamaican bobsled team featured in the 1993… Continue reading

Speedskater Ivanie Blondin trains at the Olympic Oval in Calgary on October 17, 2016. Canada's long-track speedskating team is chasing ice to Fort St. John, B.C. The country's top speedskaters have been without ice in Calgary's Olympic Oval since early September because of a mechanical failure there. World champions Ivanie Blondin, Graeme Fish and Ted-Jan Bloemen are among 50 people including coaches and support staff travelling to northern B.C. for a 15-day training camp starting Nov. 1. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian long-track speedskating team finds temporary home in B.C.

Canadian long-track speedskating team finds temporary home in B.C.

The "Great One," Wayne Gretzky, left, holds up a banner bearing his number with some help from his friend Joey Moss during a jersey retirement ceremony at Skyreach Centre in Edmonton on Firday, October 1, 1999. Former Oilers captain Kelly Buchberger remembers how a familiar friend would come "barrelling" into the visitors' dressing room when he returned to Edmonton. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Wayne Gretzky reflects on the life, legacy of Joey Moss: ‘He gave parents hope’

Wayne Gretzky reflects on the life, legacy of Joey Moss: ‘He gave parents hope’

Players' sticks are shown during a World Championships Group A hockey game between Russia and Denmark, in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, May 12, 2016. A $30-million settlement of three class actions over the failure to pay junior hockey players the minimum wage has been thrown into jeopardy after three judges refused to sign off on the agreement. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ivan Sekretarev
Junior hockey employment lawsuit on thin ice; judges refuse to OK $30-million deal

Junior hockey employment lawsuit on thin ice; judges refuse to OK $30-million deal

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney answers questions at a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Labour union leaders are urging Albertans to sign up to protest Premier Jason Kenney’s government through rallies and demonstrations and, if necessary, provincewide general strikes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta union leaders launch protest website against Kenney government

Alberta union leaders launch protest website against Kenney government

Most Read