The Premier League say the decision to penalise Gabriel Jesus for handball in the build-up to Aymeric Laporte’s disallowed goal for Manchester City at Tottenham was a factual decision.
City were annoyed when they thought they had equalised at Spurs after falling behind to Heung-Min Son’s early goal. Jesus controlled a cross and found Laporte, who swept home, but the Video Assistant Referee advised onfield referee Mike Dean to review the decision.
Dean looked at the replay and awarded a free kick to Spurs for handball against Jesus, who later protested the decision with Dean as the players went off for half-time, indicating that the ball had hit his shoulder.
However, the Premier League say the ball stuck Jesus’ elbow, which falls in the ‘red zone’ of the arm which starts below the armpit.
According to BBC Radio Manchester, the league say handball decisions are factual, so VAR does not review them with the ‘clear and obvious error’ criteria. Simply, if the ball hits the arm, however intentional, leading up to a goal, it is a foul.
Speaking after the game, Kevin De Bruyne said he was confused about the decision, saying Jesus insists the ball struck his elbow, adding that the players don’t know the rules of what specifically counts as handball.
“I don’t know the rules anymore, honestly,” he said. “I thought if it was above the arm here, then it’s not handball anymore, but the law changes. Now it’s the middle of the arm. Everybody knows it hits him but honestly, I don’t know the rules.
“If you listen tomorrow, the day after, it will come on whatever channel and the referee will say it’s a good decision so it really doesn’t matter.
“What can we say? I have been playing professional football for 12 years and in the first nine years, there was no rule changes. Then in the last three years, there has been a lot of rule changes.”
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