'It's ridiculous' - what Premier League managers think of handball rule

The bosses are unified in their dissatisfaction with the decision and it could force IFAB into reassessing their changes

6:20pm on Sunday 8th November 2020
Paul Macdonald

In this round of Premier League press conferences, we had plenty of managers being asked about the handball regulation, and their answers were consistent.

The new rules, which have been in operation in Europe for two seasons but have only been fully introduced in the Premier League from this season, has led to a slew of decisions that while correct under the changes have led to IFAB's alterations being placed under intense scrutiny.

Eric Dier, who fell victim to the rules when he had a penalty awarded against him for handball when he was jumping for a header with Andy Carroll of Newcastle, said that players are 'terrified' of the changes, adding: "You don’t feel free to act, to try to play in a normal way. Sometimes it’s difficult because it’s something that can come back to bite you and is still an opinion."

And Jurgen Klopp, who had words to say after his side's league match against Arsenal in midweek, continued: "Look, what we all wanted with VAR is clarity. I think it's really important we keep the rules as simple as possible."

Pep Guardiola added his opinion, saying: "Everyone knows when it is an intentional hand of when the guy jumps in the box and afterwards it deflected onto their hands. To give a penalty is quite ridiculous.


The handball law is a farce - players and teams need to stand against it

And Jose Mourinho also feels that the rules need to be made clearer, adding: "I don't like subjectivity in football. Subjectivity, normally, goes to a certain side."

Roy Hodgson and Steve Bruce have already spoken their mind, with Hodgson saying the rule is 'ruining football' and Bruce added that he felt we have 'lost the plot.

The Premier League are set to petition to IFAB to 'soften' the law and return a focus on the distance between player and and ball, and how far outside of the 'natural silhouette' the arm is.

IFAB's meet again in October and even if they agree to amendments, it must wait for their AGM in March and then the rule would be amended for the 2021/22 season.

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