Eric Dier’s controversial handball case sparks call for change with the Premier League ready to lobby rulemakers after yet another weekend of backlash
- The new handball rule has thrown up plenty of controversy in Premier League
- Eric Dier is just one of a number of victims of the controversial handball law
- He was adjudged to have handled the ball despite having his back to play
- Managers, captains, players and referees were united in dismay over decision
The Premier League is set to lobby rulemakers on a change to the handball law – in an attempt to stop penalties such as the hugely controversial one given against Eric Dier.
Managers, captains, players and referees were united in dismay over the decision to award Newcastle a spot-kick after the Tottenham man was adjudged to have handled despite having his back to play and the ball having been headed at him.
The penalty, which secured the visitors a 1-1 draw deep into injury time, was given because Dier’s hand was above his shoulder, which is a breach of the existing rule.
Newcastle won a controversial last-gasp penalty after Andy Carroll’s header struck Eric Dier
Dier conceded penalty despite having his back to play and the ball having been headed at him
While, as Sportsmail reported on Wednesday, officials have been told to show greater leniency surrounding the issue from this weekend, the current situation is that any repeat of Dier’s action would still have to be punished.
It is understood that there has already been dialogue with the International Football Association Board (IFAB) after the game amid universal frustration with the decision. And the top flight, Football Association and Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) are now expected to push for a change to be put onto IFAB’s agenda for its annual meeting, next year.
The Dier penalty was one of six given this season for handball, compared with none at the same stage last season amid new, stricter definitions of the rule.
Crystal Palace’s Joel Ward was also harshly penalised against Everton over the weekend
Palace manager Roy Hodgson was left seething by the decision that went against his team
Following a series of complaints and subsequent talks, from this weekend referees will be allowed to consider whether players had time to react, along with another of other factors.
But the fact remains that a repeat of the Dier situation would leave the official no option other than to award a penalty.
Any change would not come into play until next season.
Man United won a penalty at Brighton for handball despite the referee blowing the final whistle
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