VAR shambles: Premier League referees can now be more lenient with handball decisions

Football fans couldn't believe this was given as a handball by Eric Dier

The handball law has caused chaos in the first three rounds of fixtures this season in the Premier League.

VAR has intervened on several occasions to award penalties that have left fans of the English game across the world seething.

Eric Dier's infringement against Newcastle in injury-time was perhaps the worst of the bunch, with the English defender not even facing the ball before it was headed against his arm.

A penalty was awarded and viewers were understandably outraged. The implementation of the laws from the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have not gone down well, to say the least.

But the Premier League's application of the handball rules will change from the fourth round of fixtures onwards.

Joel Ward's handball vs Everton

As reported by The Athletic, it's been agreed by Premier League clubs for referees to now apply more leniency with regards to handball decisions in the box.

If the ball strikes an arm that is above head height in the box, a penalty will still be awarded.

However, a deflection off a player's hand that is down by his side will be viewed differently and a penalty will likely not be given by the official.

So what does this mean? Well, Dier's infringement against Newcastle would - annoyingly - still result in a spot-kick, as would Neal Maupay's against Manchester United.

Maupay's handball vs Man Utd

But penalties given against Joel Ward and Victor Lindelof in the opening weeks of the Premier League season would now not be awarded, due to the close proximity of the incident and both players' arms being in natural positions.

It all sounds a bit confusing, but at least something is being done, because a ridiculous 19 penalties have already been awarded due to handballs in the English top-flight in 2020/21.

“Nobody at the Premier League, PGMOL or anyone else is enjoying this rule,” a top-flight source told The Athletic.

Nope, no football fan has enjoyed it one bit and let's hope we can revert back to some sort of normality with regards to handball going forward.

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