Premier League to overhaul handball rule and change it for next season after VAR controversy throughout this year

Premier League to overhaul handball rule and change it for next season after VAR controversy throughout this year

July 10, 2020

THE Premier League will introduce a new, amended handball rule next season – which would have seen some high-profile disallowed goals this term stand.

Recent efforts from Harry Kane and Riyad Mahrez are among those to have been chalked off by VAR this season.

Both were disallowed because of the ball striking an arm in the build-up – but the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have agreed to relax the handball law next term.

Currently, if the ball has struck an arm in the lead-up to a goal, it is to be disallowed by the on-field referee.

But next time out, goals will only be ruled out if the handball occurs "immediately" before the effort goes in.

This wording suggests that the essence of the rule is that a player cannot score directly with their arm – with intent inconsequetial.

Under the new law, Kane's effort against Sheffield United and Mahrez's late fifth against Liverpool would have been allowed to stand.

But with European leagues delayed by the coronavirus not being obliged to take on the new laws until next season, the Premier League will abide by the current interpretation of the rule until the end of the campaign.

This is not the first time that there has been confusion over the handball rule in different competitions.

Manchester City were left incensed when Fernando Llorente's crucial effort for Spurs in the Champions League quarter-final between the two clubs last season was allowed to stand.

Replays showed that the ball struck the lanky Spaniard's arm directly before hitting the back of the net.

But even following a lengthy VAR consultation, the goal was allowed to stand – with Tottenham squeaking through to the semis.

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