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Football's Handball Law Set For Huge Change Following Premier League Stance

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Football's Handball Law Set For Huge Change Following Premier League Stance

The handball law looks set to get its biggest change in around 80 years because of an 'illegal' initiative in the Premier League that had referees wrongly disallowing goals.

With or without VAR referees have a pretty hard task especially as every one of the 22 players on the pitch, every single fan at the ground, all the pundits and anyone on social media seems to think they could do a better job than the man in black.

Fans love to think the referee is biased when, as when they criticise pundits too, it's usually them that are being biased in their opinions.

The biggest problem for referees is usually handball because there is such a grey area with the official law stating that only 'deliberate handballs' should be punished by officials.

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However back in September referees in England were under scrutiny after it was revealed that the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd had told referees that no goals scored by accidental handball should be given.

It came after high profile incidents in the last couple of years that saw Laurent Koscielny and Willy Boly score goals accidentally with their hands in the last few years.

Now, according to the Times, lawmakers IFAB are likely to change the laws in March at their meeting in Aberdeen to allow free kicks to be awarded if a goal goes in off an accidental handball.

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The ball was fired at Koscielny against Burnley in 2017 but he couldn't do anything about it. Image: PA Images
The ball was fired at Koscielny against Burnley in 2017 but he couldn't do anything about it. Image: PA Images

The law would generally stay the same with only deliberate handling of the ball resulting in a penalty but goals could be ruled out for handballs not deemed on purpose.

Speaking to the newspaper former referee David Elleray, now IFAB technical director, said, "We are keeping deliberate handball but are there other occasions where the law should recognise it is appropriate for the referee to penalise?

"People are saying you shouldn't be able to score a goal with your hand whether deliberate or not. If it hits your arm and drops to your foot and you shoot and score, most people would say that should not be allowed either.

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"We are not getting rid of the word 'deliberate', because we don't want to move into the situation they have in hockey with the ball hitting players' feet, otherwise you may have attacking players just kicking the ball at defenders' arms. We want to try to clarify handball, and not going to the extreme that every contact with the hand is a free kick as that would ruin football."

Topics: Manchester City, Football News, Handball, Premier League, Arsenal, Wolves

Ryan Sidle
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