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New handball rule would have allowed Fulham equalise v Tottenham

Football's lawmakers IFAB have tinkered with the handball rule yet again.  Accidental handball t...
Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15.11 5 Mar 2021


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New handball rule would have a...

New handball rule would have allowed Fulham equalise v Tottenham

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15.11 5 Mar 2021


Share this article


Football's lawmakers IFAB have tinkered with the handball rule yet again. 

Accidental handball that leads to a team-mate scoring a goal will no longer be considered an offence, following their latest ruling.

The rule change follows a number of recent controversies that have accompanied the introduction of VAR.

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The new handball rule comes into effect on July 1, but competitions can make the change sooner.

Not soon enough for Fulham, however.

The Premier League strugglers were denied what would have been a potentially crucial equaliser at home to Tottenham on Thursday night, for an incident that has become legal 24-hours later.

When Josh Maja fired past Hugo Lloris midway through the second half at Craven Cottage, Scott Parker's side thought they'd levelled.

However, a VAR review spotted an accidental handball by Mario Lemina in the build-up. Despite Lemina being oblivious to the ball striking his arm, the goal was disallowed.

"We look back at the start of the season when the rule was different," Parker said afterwards, "And penalties were given week in and week out and we're thinking you're going to have to change the art of defending or players are literally going to have to defend with their arms behind their back.

"That soon changed.

"I understand why the goal was not given and that's the rule. I don't agree with that rule.

"Looking at it, physically I don't know what he can do. If it doesn't hit his arm it hits his side.

"I'm not complaining about that, the referee has just acted to the law, maybe just a little bit of common sense we've got VAR.

"You can always look back and see if an advantage has been had in that moment and that wasn't a clear advantage."

Parker is among the many to thing VAR has worked to football's detriment.

"We're trying to make the game so pure and sterile and trying to control every single moment to an absolute tee and that's where the problem lies for me really.

"What you want to see as fans is goals, excitement and I'm sorry to say VAR is killing every bit of it.

"No longer can you celebrate a goal. Why? Because you're hanging on thinking it might be disallowed, you're losing the raw emotion of the game you absolutely love.

It's a shame and my opinion has not changed and has always stood for this in terms of how I see VAR.

"I always knew slowly along the way experiences people are going to face as in managers or players - disappointment, goals - will only come down in affect.

"There's going to be no emotion in the game."

Football vs the far-right in Georgia and Pure Fitbaw in Scotland


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