John Giles bemoans "complicating" of handball rules


Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

18.02 22 Aug 2019


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The current handball rules are causing much consternation. 

After the June 1st rule change, any time the ball strikes a player's hand, they are penalised, even if it's accidental.

The Manchester City vs Tottenham game highlighted that issue as the home side had a late winning-goal ruled out.

After last season's Champions League final, John Giles had called for a blanket rule to govern handball.

"I would give a penalty anytime there's a handball in the box," he had said at the time.

The Ireland and Leeds legend joined us again, as always on a Thursday, and gave his view on how the new rules are working - or not.

"First of all, the incident last week, didn't have much to do with VAR," he said.

Nothing to do with VAR

"It was the handball rule which they've complicated now. What they're saying now, 'If an attacker handles the ball in any way accidentally or not and it leads to a goal, then it has to be disallowed.

"If a defender handles the ball and it's accidental, then nothing happens. The simple rule used to be 'was it accidental or was it intentional' for a handball?

"Now they've gone away from that to go to, 'If he handles it and it leads to a goal' and all that... it's complicated.

"A lot of people said, 'this VAR is nonsense'. But it had nothing to do with VAR last week. It had to do with the rule that they've changed in the close-season. That's what they've done. I don't agree with it because I think it's complicated everything. There's no doubt that the Manchester City player in no way intended to handle the ball."

John added that "the Spurs players didn't appeal for a handball".

"They're the rules and we have to live with that. But for those who are anti-VAR, it didn't have anything to do with VAR really."


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Football Handball John Giles Manchester City Off The Ball Rules Tottenham VAR

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