Sun. Oct 25th, 2020

Premier League Bosses Contact FIFA Amidst Anger Over Handball Rule

2 min read

​Premier League managers have written to FIFA asking for the organisation to change the handball rule after a string of contentious decisions. 

The new rule – which mandates that any contact between hand and ball in an attacking phase of play is deemed to be an offence – has been a source of controversy all season in the Premier League.

Although changed over the summer in an attempt to help referees make more conclusive decisions on what counts as a handball, the new policy hasn’t pleased everyone.

Nuno Espirito Santo

There have been a few instances this season that have resulted in anger from managers, players and fans alike over the rule.

VAR has had to step in several instances to help with the new handball but it is now reported, via the Mirror, that the League Managers’ Association has written to FIFA with examples of when the ruling has been used questionably.

Wolves were denied a goal during their FA Cup replay with Manchester United and boss Nuno Espirito Santo urged for the handball ruling to be reviewed. Pedro Neto’s goal was disallowed following a handball in the buildup by Raul Jimenez.

Wolves are not the only side to be on the wrong end of one of these handball decisions with ​West Ham suffering a similar fate when Robert Snodgrass’ late equaliser at Bramall Lane was chalked off due to a handball by Declan Rice.

The new rule states, however, that even if the contact between a hand and the ball is accidental it should result in a foul. This is what happened with both of these goals.


Neither Jimenez nor Rice make any sort of movement towards the ball but rather the ball strikes them without their intention. However, under the new ruling any sort of contact between a hand and a ball will result in a foul. 

Whether or not UEFA reply to the enquiry is questionable but ​Premier League managers, fans and players will be hoping that there is at least more explanation given to new handball ruling. A change to a ruling mid-season is impossible but if there is enough support for it another new handball rule might be implemented for next season. 

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