Sunday 12 January 2020

Clear As Mud: Hammers InVARiably Lose Out in Latest Fiasco

OOogh - that looks like a deflection to me!
Friday night's clash between arch-rivals Sheffield United and West Ham was a thriller. The blades came out full of intent and dominated the first 20 minutes but thereafter West Ham slowly took control, playing some nice football and dominating possession. However, the game changed suddenly on 53 minutes when a slack goal kick by stand in keeper David Martin let the Blades in for a simple goal. The Hammers huffed and puffed before Declan Rice decided enough was enough and went on a surging run through the centre, slipping a  neat pass out to Robert Snodgrass to rifle the ball home against the post for a late late equaliser.  Pure Hollywood as the Hammers celebrated with much abandon.

Ant then those buzzwreckers at VAR decided it was handball as in a desperate attempt to dispossess Rice, John Egan had headed the ball against the Hammers player's upper arm. No big deal, usually....BUT the goal was overturned.

Interestingly, many observers have commented that the call was harsh but correct - however, a quick look at the Premiership Website (see below)  suggests that it's far from that simple! The ball went directly from Egan's head onto Rice - surely that's a deflection???

With the Hammers now firmly top of the table for VAR decisions that have gone against any club you have to wonder if the lost point might prove crucial as the season unfolds!

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) updated the Laws of the Game for the 2019/20 season stating:


Any goal scored or created with the use of the hand or arm will be disallowed this season even if it is accidental. The handball rule now has extra clarity because it does not consider intent by a player.



Premier League players will be allowed extra leeway when it comes to ricocheted handballs.  It is often impossible to avoid contact with the ball if it has deflected off the body of an opponent, team-mate, or even another part of the own player. So a handball will not be awarded if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm directly from their own head/body/foot or the head/body/foot of another player who is close/nearby.

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