According to recent reports, a Premier League meeting was held on Tuesday, to discuss how officials should approach interpreting handball decisions from this weekend forward.
The English top-flight has of course been surrounded by continuous controversy of late, amid a spate of debates around the topic.
First, Victor Lindelof was penalised against Crystal Palace, before Arsenal’s Gabriel appeared to commit a similar act against West Ham, with no punishment having been forthcoming.
Amongst others, the most controversial and recent incident came during Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle. Andy Carroll headed a ball onto Eric Dier’s arm, with the England international none the wiser as to any infraction.
PENALTY! Newcastle have a 90th minute spot kick after Eric Dier handled inside the box!
— Goal (@goal) September 27, 2020
VAR subsequently checked the play, deeming Dier to have handled illegally, before Callum Wilson tucked away a 95th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot.
A top-flight source for The Athletic said “Nobody at the Premier League, PGMOL or anyone else is enjoying this rule.”
Change without change
The rule itself, in England, cannot be changed, as the International Football Association Board (IFAB) would need to take action regarding the topic, with the Premier League not possessing the authority to do so.
However, since speaking to the IFAB, officials have been briefed to allow further leniency.
For example, if a ball were to hit an arm raised above head height, it should still lead to a penalty. A ball which deflects off of a player’s hand/arm by their side, however, would not.
‘Something has to change’
Eric Dier insists controversial new handball rule is a ‘massive problem’https://t.co/QTeIfFHAfy
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) September 29, 2020
Proximity and arm position should also be taken into account. The two examples highlighted from the Premier League season thus far are those of Lindelof (mentioned above) and Joel Ward (vs Everton), which, under the new interpretation, should not be regarded as an offence.
This weekend’s fixtures will allow fans their first chance to see the new interpretations in action.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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|1||Leicester City FC||3||8||9|
|4||Aston Villa FC||2||4||6|
|6||Crystal Palace FC||3||2||6|
|8||Tottenham Hotspur FC||3||2||4|
|10||Newcastle United FC||3||-1||4|
|11||West Ham United FC||3||1||3|
|12||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||3||0||3|
|13||Manchester City FC||2||-1||3|
|14||Manchester United FC||2||-1||3|
|16||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||3||-4||3|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||3||-6||1|
|19||Sheffield United FC||3||-4||0|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||5|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||5|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||4|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||3|
|Lacazette, Alexandre||Arsenal FC||3|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||3|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||3|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||3|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||3|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||3|
|Costa, Helder||Leeds United||2|
|Klich, Mateusz||Leeds United||2|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||2|
|Robinson, Callum||West Bromwich Albion||2|
|Mitrovic, Aleksandar||Fulham FC||2|
|Jimenez, Raul||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||2|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United FC||2|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||1|
|Townsend, Andros||Crystal Palace FC||1|
|Castagne, Timothy||Leicester City FC||1|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||0||2|
|Fredericks, Ryan||West Ham United FC||0||2|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||1|
|Christensen, Andreas||Chelsea FC||1||1|
|Bardsley, Phil||Burnley FC||0||2|
|Shelvey, Jonjo||Newcastle United FC||0||2|
|Ward, Joel||Crystal Palace FC||0||2|
|Cairney, Tom||Fulham FC||0||2|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||0||2|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||0||2|
|Hayden, Isaac||Newcastle United FC||0||2|
|Targett, Matt||Aston Villa FC||0||2|
|Lewis, Jamal||Newcastle United FC||0||2|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||0||1|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||0||1|
|Klich, Mateusz||Leeds United||0||1|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||0||1|
|Trossard, Leandro||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||0||1|
|Mitrovic, Aleksandar||Fulham FC||0||1|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||0||1|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||5|
|Townsend, Andros||Crystal Palace FC||2|
|Castagne, Timothy||Leicester City FC||2|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||2|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||2|
|Podence, Daniel||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||2|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1|
|Costa, Helder||Leeds United||1|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||1|
|Hourihane, Conor||Aston Villa FC||1|
|Rodriguez, James||Everton FC||1|
|Hendrick, Jeff||Newcastle United FC||1|
|Praet, Dennis||Leicester City FC||1|
|Trossard, Leandro||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City FC||1|
|Robertson, Andrew||Liverpool FC||1|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||1|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa FC||1|