Premier League already finished with hand rule: referees adjust approach


The Premier League is only three rounds away, but the league has already seen enough of the new hand rule. Clubs have asked the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the English referees association, to evaluate hand situations differently.

The call comes in response to two moments last weekend. Eric Dier, for example, was given a penalty in the last minute of the game between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United, because Andy Carroll headed the ball on his arm. The animal had his back to the situation. Also in the match between Everton and Crystal Palace there was a lot to be done about a similar situation that resulted in a penalty.

After the game round, the hand rule was the subject of discussion. “This hand rule is destroying football,” said Crystal Palace coach Roy Hodson. Former footballer Ryan Mason even thinks that the risk of injury is due to this rule, as players are forced to jump with their hands behind their backs.

Eric Dier gets the ball on the arm here.

© Getty Images

Premier League clubs have asked the referees association during a meeting to interpret the hand rule differently. They want referees to look at the situations subjectively and not whistle by the book. The distance and time a player has to avoid hands and the position of the arm must be taken into account in the decision.

The Premier League clubs have also spoken to IFAB, the organization that sets the rules in football, but they have indicated that they do not want to change the rule.


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