Premier League explains new handball law with armpit and VAR changes

Premier League organisers have explained the new handball law concerning a player’s armpit and VAR changes for the new campaign.

The 2020/21 season gets underway this weekend, with Liverpool looking to defend their title for the first time as Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all strengthen for a title chase.

But all 20 teams will have to deal with the challenges brought on by VAR, which will enter its second season of use passing judgment on incidents which should or shouldn’t result in goals, penalties and red cards from Stockley Park.

City were one of the first teams to fall foul of the rule last season as Gabriel Jesus’ goal against West Ham was disallowed last August.

While Tottenham star Dele Alli was on the right side of it, with his goal saving a draw against Watford last October to keep Mauricio Pochettino in his job for another month.

But organisers have now cleared the issue up in their latest update on rules concerning handballs and the shoulder.

A statement from the organisation reads: “Incidents where the ball hits the shoulder should not be penalised.

“IFAB have also issued a reminder that a player cannot score a goal with their arm, even if it is accidental.

“An accidental handball by an attacking player or team-mate will only be penalised if it occurs immediately before a goal or a goalscoring opportunity.

“If an attacking player accidentally touches the ball with their hand or arm and then scores a goal, or the ball goes to another attacking player and they immediately score, this is a handball offence.”

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While the organisers have also address the changes to how handballs will be interpreted in the VAR room at Stockley Park.

The statement continues: “But it is not a handball offence if after an accidental handball the ball travels some distance via a pass or a dribble, or there are several passes before the goal or goalscoring opportunity."

It comes as former referee Bobby Madley gave his take on VAR decisions from the last campaign.

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