The handball law could be changing in the Premier League - again

After a series of incidents that have caused controversy, the Premier League are looking to walk back their changes

11:26am on Thursday 1st October 2020
Martin Macdonald

The Premier League are set to petition to IFAB to 'soften' the handball law after a series of controversial incidents put its implementation under question.

The incident involving Tottenham's Eric Dier (pictured) in which he was punished for a handball despite facing in the opposite direction, leading to a late penalty which allowed Newcastle to clinch a point.

Other recent examples, such as Victor Lindelof and Joel Ward, have led to direct criticism from coaches, with Roy Hodgson being particularly vocal on the regulation he believes is 'ruining the spectacle'.

As a result of the backlash Premier League referees have already been told to 'soften' their interpretation of the current rules, with a particular focus on the distance between player and and ball, and how far outside of the 'natural silhouette' the arm is.

Former Premier League referee, David Elleray, is IFAB's technical director and they ultimate make the call as to whether the overall handball rule needs yet another overhaul.

This is currently being assessed, according to BBC Sport, but if there is pushback the league itself will make a direct request for change.

IFAB's next meeting takes place later this month and even if a rule change is agreed, it can only be verified in their AGM in March and then the rule would be amended for the 2021/22 season.


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

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