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Question Number: 33886

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/17/2020

RE: Adult

AEK Fan Club of NY of New York, New York USA asks...

Was this a handball (by defender in black and white) and therefore a penalty?

https://youtu.be/jSq0NmrqXcY?t=106

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi,
This is not a handling offence as I see it either. Ref McHugh has quoted the applicable parts of the law and based on my interpretation of the wording there is no offence here for me.



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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi,
This is a foul for me.
Ref McHugh states all of the considerations - however, those points are prefaced with 'except for the above offences' - The relevant point here is:

'It is usually an offence if a player:

touches the ball with their hand/arm when:

the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger

the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm)'
So, the defender does have his arm above the shoulder level. Additionally, the laws state:

'The above offences apply even if the ball touches a player's hand/arm directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close.'
So, the fact that the arm was above the shoulder should, by law, be a foul in just about every case except some unusual scenarios not envisioned by IFAB (which is why it states 'is usually an offence').

There's simply no reason at all to be jumping with arms up so high out to the side.




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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi
Not a handling offence for me and others can see it differently. On the day the referee and VAR did not give it and no doubt that decision would have been reviewed post match by the match observer and later by the referee grouping in Greece
The CURRENT advice is that and I quote
** It is an offence if a player:
# deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, including moving the hand/arm towards the ball
# gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then: scores in the opponents goal , creates a goal-scoring opportunity, scores in the opponents goal directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper
It is usually an offence if a player:
# touches the ball with their hand/arm when: the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger, the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm)
The above offences apply even if the ball touches a players hand/arm directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close.
Except for the above offences, it is not usually an offence if the ball touches a player's hand/arm:
# directly from the players own head or body (including the foot)
# directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close
# if the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger
# when a player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body, but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body**
Bullet point two refers here in that the ball has comes off the head of the attacker who is close. It is a matter of opinion if the player made his body unnaturally bigger and his arm is above shoulder level.
So in real time the referee did not give it and on VAR it was not given either.
Correct decision in my opinion. and even without the current advice issued in June 2019 I would not have been called it either.
As always handling is still the most contentious decision in the game and a straw poll of referees will come up with differing opinions as in the case of the panel. Ultimately the only decision that mattered was that of the referee. At least it was reviewed by another referee who agreed that it was not a clear and obvious error.





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