Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Asked to Change Handball Rules, Premier League Only Have One Month

By db-admin – Any move from the Premier League to change handball rules for next season needs to be submitted to the international law-making body (IFAB) next month for consideration.

IFAB holds its annual meeting, the forum where rules are passed and changed, in March. But according to IFAB protocol, the football association must submit a proposal by November 1 to allow time for consultations across matches.

A series of controversial handball decisions took place in the early weeks of the Premier League. The controversy led to calls from some players for the rules to be changed.

Although the Rule of the Game is applied on an international scale, English football has a unique, prominent role in the creation of law.

The IFAB General Assembly that takes decisions consists of four English football associations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and four FIFA representatives.

All decisions require a three-quarter majority, which in practice means FIFA representatives must agree to any UK proposal.

Decisions on what to put on the agenda are made at the November annual meeting.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said he was disappointed after his team lost to a penalty awarded for controversial handball.

“I just don’t understand how we let it happen. The Premier League, the referee, the coach, the manager, the players, I don’t know how we allow this kind of situation, which we face in almost every game nowadays,” he said.

Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher, now a pundit on Sky Sports, called on the authorities to take action.

“Be it the Premier League, FA, FIFA, Pierluigi Collina (chair of the refereeing committee), whoever is involved in this, stop it. Because you ruin football for everyone,” said Carragher.

Handball rules were introduced last season, but the Premier League has opted for a different, more lenient interpretation than many of Europe’s other top leagues.

However, that changed this season with the league responding to calls from FIFA calling on all leagues to use the same fundamental interpretation of all laws.

The number of handball penalties has increased across Europe and despite complaints in Italy last season. The change appears to have caused the strongest reaction in Britain.

Much of the controversy has focused on handball in which the referee sets their arm or hand as an “unnatural position” or makes the body bigger. Previous handball rules depended on the referee making the decision whether the handball was intentional or not.

There has been no indication from the Premier League or the Football Association that they intend to request a change of rules.

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