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Referees’ chief Mike Riley has explained how handballs will be judged in the Premier League with VAR set to take effect in the league next season.
There have been lots of debates with some handball calls since the introduction of VAR as seen in the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham and also in the FIFA Women’s World Cup but Riley does not believe it will be a problem in England.
Riley said, according to BBC: “I actually think handball is in a really good place in this country, and that’s the message that we get from all the clubs – from the managers and the players – when we go and talk to them.
“We have a philosophy that says we want handball to be something that has an impact on the game.
“We are not looking for the ball to be striking arms and we do accept, when we are looking for what is an unnatural position for the arm, that arms move. We don’t expect players to defend with their arms behind their back, nor do we expect forwards to try and drill the ball to the hand to win a free-kick.
“The way we’ve actually implemented handball for the past two or three seasons is the way we are going to continue to do it in the future.”
According to Riley, the winning penalty for the Netherlands against Japan at the Women’s World Cup would not have been awarded in the Premier League.
“We consider that to be a natural position of the hand. You don’t expect defenders to have their arms glued to their side, so if the hand is in a natural position then it’s not an offence,” he said.