Roy Hodgson: New handball rules are ruining football

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Crystal Palace manager, Roy Hodgson has said that the new handball rule is ruining football.

Hodgson was left fuming after Palace are undone by the rule in their 2-1 loss against Everton at Selhurst Park. Joel Ward fell victim for a controversial penalty when Lucas Digne’s header hit his arm from close range.

Hodgson, who described the call as nonsense believes that incidents like the one his team faces on Saturday are “ruining the game”.

Steven Friend behind the pitch monitor


The centre referee, Kevin Friend decided to award a penalty in line with the new handball rules. This left Hodgson seething after his side was undone by a rule that he sees as detrimental to the game.

“I think the rule is nonsense.I can’t understand how everyone in the game of football – the Premier League, referees, managers and coaches – have allowed this rule to come into operation. It is ruining the game of football, no question of that.

“We can’t understand what constitutes a handball and what doesn’t.

“The idea that you can look at this on a screen and this constitutes a handball. It is just absolute nonsense. I don’t want to profit from it or lose from it,” Hodgson said.

Ward expects further discussion on handball rule

Also reacting to the the outcome, Ward was also left frustrated as he added that he expects the decision to prompt further discussion.

“It is [confusing]. When you look at the motion and the momentum [of players], it’s very hard to play with your arms behind your back.

“It is what it is, we have to dust ourselves down and go again. There will be conversations about [the penalty decision] I’m sure.

“Unfortunately it went against us, we can’t dwell on that now. Let’s not take away from the fact we have started well. We’re making it hard for people to beat us, we’re limiting the amount of efforts and chances against us and from front to back we are well-drilled,” he said.

Joe Ward in action for Palace

It could be recalled that Crystal Palace had won each of their prior two Premier League games before the loss against Everton. They will now face a difficult test next week against Chelsea.

The Blues had drawn 3-3 against promoted West Brom, who went three goals ahead in the first half.

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