Kevin De Bruyne has hit out at football’s “impossible” new handball rules and claimed the only way players could avoid accidentally handling the ball in some instances would be to “chop off” their arms.
Gabriel Jesus’s late winner for City against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday was dramatically ruled out for handball by Aymeric Laporte in the lead up to the goal.
And De Bruyne says his frustration that Laporte, the City defender, was punished for the incident was compounded by the knowledge that an accidental handball by a Tottenham player in the same passage of play might not have led to a penalty for his side.
Under the International FA Board’s new laws, goals scored or created with the use of handball, even if accidental, no longer stand but the denial of a penalty through accidental handball could easily go unpunished. A penalty may only be awarded by the VAR if there has been a “clear and obvious” error in the original decision.
“They made this rule, it’s new,” De Bruyne, the City midfielder, said. “When I saw the video [of the incident], it’s impossible [for Laporte] to take his arm away. What can he do? Should he chop his arm off and play without it?
“There’s nothing he can do because Nico [Otamendi] is 10 centimetres in front of him and trying to head the ball. You can’t react in that space and amount of time. So make it clear - handball both sides.”
City’s frustration was even more acute because, under the new rules brought in this summer, Fernando Llorente’s goal against them in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final exit to Tottenham in April, when the Spurs striker accidentally handled before scoring, would not have stood.
“It is never easy when you score a last-minute goal and it is disallowed, especially because last season we went out of the Champions League because of a situation exactly like this one but rules are rules and we have to accept it,” City midfielder Bernardo Silva added. “It is true the ball hits his hand but come on, do you want to cut his arm [off]?”
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