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

Latest news

Premier League

Premier League Table: Man City open up a 15-point gap to Man Utd in second

Manchester City's cakewalk to the title continues as they thumped Wolves 4-1 at home on Tuesday, with Gabriel Jesus netting twice

  • 1 hour
Player Ratings

Manchester City 4-1 Wolves, Player Ratings: Jesus, Mahrez and Rodri stand out for ruthless City

VAR heavily involved as Manchester City strike late to stretch winning run to 21 games with comprehensive victory over Wolves

  • 1 hour
Player Ratings

Cristiano Ronaldo: Player Rating and performance v Spezia

Cristiano Ronaldo found it difficult to get involved in Juventus' ninth home win of the Serie A season against Spezia, but still grabbed a goal

  • 2 hours
European Assists King

European Assists King 2020/21: Two challengers now level with Kane

The Tottenham star had been leading outright for the majority of the season, but now faces a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard

  • 13 hours
Predicted XI

Pedri suffers injury blow - How Barcelona could line up against Sevilla

After a 2-0 win over the same opponents at the weekend, Barca are suddenly hopeful of qualification in the Copa del Rey.

  • 13 hours
Predicted XI

Cavani back in the squad? - How Man Utd could line up against Crystal Palace

The former PSG striker has missed the last four games due to injury, but might be available for selection on Wednesday

  • 14 hours

Most read