UEFA President Writes to FIFA Asking for Handball Law Change

Nov 5, 2020, 12:45 PM GMT
Felix Zwayer
The Uefa president has asked Fifa to change the handball law | Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images
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UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has written to FIFA president Gianni Infantino to request a change to the handball law.

The handball law was adapted in March 2019 following the widespread introduction of VAR in domestic leagues across the world.

FC Kobenhavn v Celtic FC - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: First Leg
VAR has seen the handball law change dramatically | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

The law is now considerably stricter, stating that a handball decision should be awarded if the ball strikes the arm of a player that is clearly outside of the 'body line'.

This has resulted in a host of penalty decisions being awarded for the most harsh and accidental cases of handball, leaving players, managers and supporters often feeling a sense of injustice and bemusement.

“The attempt to strictly define the cases where handling the ball is an offence has resulted in many unfair decisions which have been met with growing frustration and discomfort by the football community,” Ceferin wrote [via AP News].

"The spirit of the game must be preserved at all times. I believe that going back to the previous wording, perhaps reviewed and integrated by a provision which does not allow goals to be scored with a hand/arm, is an option to be taken into account.

Felix Zwayer
Rennes were on the receiving end of a harsh handball call on Wednesday evening | Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images

“lt happens quite frequently that the ball accidentally hits hands or arms of players. But the spirit of the law is clearly that, these cases being unavoidable, they should not be punished in order to avoid excessive fragmentation of play and even to allow hazardous situations to decide the result of matches.”

Ceferin wrote to FIFA regarding the matter on 27 October - but had his point reinforced on Wednesday evening during Chelsea's Champions League victory over Rennes.

Rennes full-back Dalbert was shown a second yellow card after Tammy Abraham's effort deflected off the defender's leg and onto his outstretched arm, resulting in the Blues being awarded a penalty and Dalbert receiving his marching orders.

The UEFA president is targeting the law being changed at IFAB's annual meeting early next year.

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