Bruce slams 'ludicrous' handball rule after Wilson disallowed goal

Steve Bruce slams ‘ludicrous’ handball rules after Newcastle striker Callum Wilson had stoppage-time goal at Liverpool disallowed by VAR… as fans rage at ‘stupid rule’ that is set to be tweaked for next season

  • Callum Wilson thought he’d equalised for Newcastle in their match at Liverpool
  • But stoppage time goal was chalked off by VAR for handball against the striker
  • His initial shot ricocheted back off goalkeeper Alisson and hit him on the elbow
  • It was accidental but handball laws state the goal could not stand as a result
  • Newcastle’s manager and fans raged against the decision to chalk the goal off 

Steve Bruce has slammed the decision to disallow a Callum Wilson goal for the most inadvertent of handballs as ‘ludicrous’ as fans raged once again against VAR.

Newcastle trailed Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield but believed they’d equalised in the second minute of stoppage time when Wilson raced clear to score.

But the goal was chalked off after replays showed Wilson’s initial shot rebounded off Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker and back against the striker’s elbow before he netted.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson saw a goal disallowed as a result of their handball

Wilson put the ball into the net after it ricocheted back against his elbow off the goalkeeper

Wilson’s celebrations were cut short when VAR reviewed the replays and chalked the goal off

Wilson wasn’t able to move his arm out of the way of the ball as it ricocheted back at him in just a split second and under the handball laws the goal couldn’t stand.

VAR replays were checked and confirmed the decision, to the frustration of Wilson and his team-mates.

Thankfully for Newcastle, Joe Willock did earn them a point towards their relegation battle in the fifth minute of injury time.

But that didn’t stop manager Bruce making his feelings plain about the video technology.

‘It’s the [handball] law, we understand that law but it was made by whom? It is again open to debate,’ he told BeIN Sports.

‘If we’re not careful with this VAR nonsense we’re going to ruin it. Every goal, you don’t celebrate it properly because you’re always wary of a decision like that which is ludicrous really.

‘The rules are there, for me, it should be if it’s blatant handball, then ok, then that is what the VAR is for.

‘Unless we adapt the rules better then for me it’s just taking away the spectacle of this great game of ours.

‘Sometimes you can’t help it. He’s made a shot, it’s come back and hit him, it’s nowhere near intentional. Handball should be intentional.

‘There’s times in football matches when it hits your arm, this whole “is it in an unnatural position or not,” this whole thing is nonsense. So we should clear it up and try and do something about it.’

But Newcastle did snatch a valuable point when Joe Willock scored deep into stoppage time

The players rushed over to their manager on the sidelines to celebrate the late equaliser

There is going to be a change to the handball laws next season but it wouldn’t have changed the outcome in this instance.

The alteration announced by football’s law-makers IFAB last month will see accidental handball in the build-up to a goalscoring chance or a goal no longer penalised.

However, if a player scores with their hand or arm, or the scorer uses their hand or arm directly before scoring, it will still be disallowed.

Annoyed fans also took to Twitter to express their disgruntlement about the handball rule, VAR and the disallowed goal.

Supporters made their feelings known on Twitter after Wilson’s goal was disallowed 

One wrote: ‘Premier League refs are just totally useless. Players need to cut their arms to get goals next season.’

Another posted: ‘This rule is a shambles VAR is killing our game, another disgraceful decision.’

One reply read: ‘Unfortunately that doesn’t matter because the stupid rule is that is the ball makes any contact with the hand in the lead up to a goal then it’s handball… it’s an absolutely idiotic rule.’

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