UEFA chairman Ceferin calls for amendment of the controversial hand rule

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UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has argued in a letter to FIFA colleague Gianni Infantino that the controversial hand rule should be amended. The Slovenian wants there to be a distinction between intentional and unintentional hands.

‘Hands rule destroys football’

“The attempt to define very sharply what is or is not hands, has led to many unfair decisions,” Ceferin writes in the letter, which is in the hands of the news agency. AP. “This is causing more and more frustration in the football world.”

Rules committee IFAB introduced a new rule for hitting the ball with the hand or arm in March of last year. Offensive hands are always penalized – although the rule has been relaxed for this season – and defensive hands are when the player does not keep his arms at his sides. This year it was added that the part of the arm above the armpit can no longer provide hands.

The aim was to make the rule simpler and clearer, but partly due to the introduction of the video referee, it appears in practice that the result is mainly that more penalties are given for what previously would be called unintentional hands.

To the frustration of opponent Fortuna Sittard, Ajax received two penalties for hands in the match won 5-2 in the Johan Cruijff ArenA last weekend. And on Wednesday in the Champions League match Chelsea-Stade Rennes (3-0), an unfortunate handball by Rennes defender Dalbert led to a penalty and a second yellow card.

“It happens quite often that a ball accidentally hits a player’s hand or arm,” said Ceferin. “That is inevitable and the spirit of the rule is that it should not be penalized.”

UEFA has no say in the rules of football. At the IFAB, which will meet again this month to discuss possible rule changes, there are only votes for FIFA (four) and the British Football Associations (also four in total).

With his letter, Ceferin hopes to be able to bring about a change. “I think it is best to go back to the old definition of hands, with perhaps an additional provision that a goal should not be scored with the hand or arm. are now punished with a penalty. “

In any case, there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the hand rule in England. Premier League clubs asked the referees association after three rounds of play this season not to apply the rule according to the letter of the law. Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson even said the hand rule “destroys football”.



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