Tottenham 1-1 Newcastle: We have lost the plot with handball, says Steve Bruce

MOTD2: 'Ridiculous' handball rule has 'got to change'

Football has "lost the plot" with the new handball ruling and decisions made by officials are causing Premier League matches to "lose the spectacle", says Newcastle manager Steve Bruce.

The Magpies were awarded a late penalty after Andy Carroll's knockdown came off Eric Dier's arm inside the box.

Callum Wilson converted the 97th-minute spot-kick in the 1-1 draw at Tottenham.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho did not want to comment but said there was "no respect" for his club.

'We've lost the plot' - Bruce on handball and VAR

The hosts led through Lucas Moura's first-half strike but missed a number of chances, allowing Newcastle to earn a point with their only shot on target in the contest.

With time running out, Jonjo Shelvey floated a free-kick into the area which substitute Carroll nodded down but the ball came off Dier's outstretched arm - with the defender's back towards the ball - as he jumped to make a challenge.

Following a lengthy consultation with the video assistant referee (VAR), on-field official Peter Bankes awarded the penalty after reviewing the incident on the pitch-side monitor.

Jose Mourinho says Spurs 'deserve more respect'

Mourinho walked down the tunnel in disgust after seeing Wilson score the penalty and, when asked to give his reaction to the decision, he said: "I don't want to speak about it.

"The only feeling I am ready to share is that I don't feel Tottenham is respected according to what the club is. No respect.

"It is my feeling. You know it is the third club I have managed in the country, so happy so proud, so happy every day, I would not change it for any other job in the world but I feel it, I feel we deserve more respect."

What has happened this season with handball?

So far this season, six penalties have been awarded for handball compared to 19 in the entirety of the last campaign. At this stage last season, there had been no penalties awarded for handball in the Premier League.

The major European leagues were already implementing the new 'stricter' interpretation of the handball law last season and that resulted in 50 penalties due to handball in La liga and 60 in Serie A.

Bruce added: "The handball has been around for a hundred years. If it is deliberate, no problem, but it has to be clear and obvious. We have lost the plot with it and it loses the spectacle of it.

"Maybe we can do something about it, we seem to have these phases where we take everything literally in the Premier League and maybe we have to say no to it."

On Saturday, Roy Hodgson said the "nonsense" handball law that led to a penalty against Joel Ward in Crystal Palace's 2-1 defeat by Everton was "ruining the game".

Referee Peter Bankes
Referee Peter Bankes reviewed the decision on the pitch-side monitor

So what is the new law?

A new interpretation of the handball law was introduced at the beginning of this season. Under these new rules, a player will be penalised for handball if:

  • The hand/arm is clearly away from the body and outside the "body line" .
  • The player clearly leans into the path of the ball.
  • The ball travels some distance.
  • The ball touches a hand/arm that is clearly raised above the shoulder.
  • The player falls and the hand/arm is extended laterally or vertically away from the body.
  • A deflection clearly makes no difference to the ball touching a hand/arm that is clearly extended away from the body and/or above the shoulder

'An absolute joke' - what the pundits said

Former Premier League striker Clinton Morrison on BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's a terrible decision. I would be going mad. VAR is ruining our game. It's the law, I understand, but he is facing the other way. We have got to be more consistent when we are making these decisions.

"I totally get it's the law, but you've got to be consistent. Mourinho will be asking why they did not decide to check the handball incident with Jamaal Lascelles moments before, which looked more of a penalty. Dier was looking the other way.

"It just frustrates me. At the end of the game I want to talk about football. Instead we are talking about VAR and the handball rule. I would take the handball rule away from the VAR officials.

"I like it that the referee goes to the monitor because the players will respect it more. I don't blame the referee, I blame VAR. That is the problem."

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports: "An absolute disgrace, a joke. Everyone in this country will say what I am saying.

"Dier had no control of where his arm was. Whether it's the FA, Fifa, Pierluigi Collina, stop it, it is ruining football for everyone. An absolute joke."

Former Newcastle manager Graeme Souness: "It is the new rules. It is harsh but these are the rules.

"Maybe it is going to create more excitement and goals and eventually we will get to accept it."

'Get our game back' - reaction on social media

What you said on #bbcfootball:

Ashley: Yes we need VAR, but that was never a handball by Dier. He clearly didn't know where the ball was! Change the rule NOW!

Adam Salter: In all seriousness, accidental handball should not be given as a penalty. Give it the hockey treatment and award an indirect free-kick on the corner of the box on the byline.