'An absolute disgrace': Jamie Carragher and Gary Lineker blast new handball rule after Tottenham vs Newcastle

George Flood
·3-min read
Pool via REUTERS
Pool via REUTERS

Jamie Carragher and Gary Lineker were among those left incensed at the new handball rules after Newcastle were awarded a controversial last-gasp penalty against Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.

Steve Bruce's side were thoroughly second best in north London and looked set to lose 1-0 courtesy of Lucas Moura's first-half effort, only to rescue an unlikely point at the death following a 97th-minute penalty from summer signing Callum Wilson.

The spot-kick was awarded by referee Peter Bankes following consultation with the video assistant referee (VAR) and a look at the pitchside monitor after Andy Carroll's header had flicked off the arm of an unsuspecting Eric Dier, who had challenged in the air and had his back to Carroll.

The decision caused fury among the Tottenham ranks, with manager Jose Mourinho storming down the tunnel before the final whistle and goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos sent off for his protests.

Former Liverpool defender-turned-pundit Carragher was on co-commentary duties for Sky Sports at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and could not contain his dismay at the latest controversial decision regarding the new handball clarifications.

(Pool via REUTERS)
(Pool via REUTERS)

"I hope that's not a penalty," he said before the decision was given.

After Bankes pointed to the spot, Carragher groaned before fuming: "It's an absolute disgrace. An absolute joke.

"Newcastle fans will be ecstatic, I can understand that. But everybody else in this country will say exactly what I'm saying and what I'm thinking.

"Eric Dier jumps for the ball, has no control where his arm is going to be. There's a header half-a-yard away from him, hits him on the back of the arm, has no idea what's going on.

"This is a joke. Whether it's the Premier League, the FA, Fifa [Chairman of the Fifa referees committee Pierluigi] Collina, whoever's involved in this, stop it. Because you're ruining football for everybody."

After the game, Carragher tweeted: "Sort this out @FIFAcom@UEFAcom@premierleaguethis penalty nonsense is ruining the game!"

Meanwhile, ex-Tottenham striker and Match of the Day host Lineker said: "Ludicrous. Utterly ludicrous law exacerbated by VAR. Can we have our game back please?"

Former Olympic and world long jump champion Greg Rutherford also chimed in on social media, saying: "As someone who spent a lot of time jumping, I can confirm you use them and need them to perform the action.

"They would NOT be by your side.VAR... go for a sleep, you’re very drunk."

He added: "Of course it’s the rule change too, but VAR is used in order to interpret those potential decisions. The people in VAR are calling some and not others. So they’re also to blame."

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