We knew it would come, and we knew it would create controversies. What are we talking about, the new “handball law” in football (or soccer) of course. But I doubt we thought it would have this negative impact on the game as just a few matches so far, already have shown us.
To paraphrase a few, The new “nonsense” handball law (R. Hodgson), Confusing (J. Ward), It is wrong and it has to change (A. Shearer).
A couple of the headlines reads…… Ward penalty incident angers Hodgson, We have lost the plot with handball, says Steve Bruce, ‘It’s a nonsense’: Newcastle’s Steve Bruce hits out at handball rule, Handball pedantry sapping enjoyment from the game.
Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward: “It is confusing. When you look at the motion and the momentum [of players], it’s very hard to play with your arms behind your back. It is what it is. There will be conversations, I’m sure.”
Everton captain Seamus Coleman: “Being a defender in this day and age is hard enough with wingers, but then to be thinking about your hand in the box is tough.”
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti: “I am not the right person to judge the decision of the referee. It is not only one referee that decides and we have to adapt to the new rules on the handball. It is difficult, but we cannot do anything.”
Alan Shearer, former England striker on Match of the Day: “It is wrong and it has to change. It is madness to give that as handball. Just go back to what it was years ago.
Martin Keown, former Arsenal defender on Final Score: “Defenders are going to have to start playing with straitjackets on. What is Joel Ward to do there? This is not within the spirit of the game. It is not in the spirit of the game I joined as a young boy.
“There is absolutely no way [Ward] is trying to handball that and he can’t get out the way of it. It is ball to arm, it is not arm to ball. It hits him.
“I’m not sure I would want to be a defender anymore, with this current law.”
From Guardian: Steve Bruce described the combination of VAR and football’s new handball rules as “nonsense” despite seeing it earn his Newcastle side an ill‑deserved draw at Tottenham, and said football’s lawmakers should be pushed to reconsider.
Newcastle secured a point in added time when Callum Wilson equalised from the penalty spot after replays showed Andy Carroll’s header had struck an arm of an unwitting Eric Dier.
A draw was an excellent outcome for the visiting side after they had been outplayed but Bruce said: “If you’re going to tell me that is handball then we all may as well pack it in. It’s a nonsense, a nonsense of a rule. It’s gone for us today – however, it’s ludicrous.”
Bruce appeared to suggest pressure should be put on the International Football Association Board to change the law and he agreed with Roy Hodgson, who had similarly called it “a nonsense ruining the game of football” after his Crystal Palace side’s defeat by Everton on Saturday.
More from Guardian….. here.
I wonder, can one change a rule during the season? Or will we now see this madness through the entire season? This can destroy football as we know it.
Enjoy the games to come.