Date: 9th July 2019 at 7:15am
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The ridiculous penalty decision given by the referee and the Video Assistant Referee technology in the Champions League Final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool caused plenty of controversy at the time and fans and pundits were split.

Former Liverpool Star Weighs In On The CL Penalty Debate

Dean Saunders was one of the few who called it correctly despite his allegiance to Anfield as he pointed out that it was a perfectly natural arm movement in the game, and on top of that, it hit his chest before his arm, so in no way could be considered a deliberate handball.

The Women’s World Cup this summer saw even more VAR controversy (if you were watching) with handballs being a prominent feature again as IFAB continue to tweak the rules but with the technology being implemented in the Premier League for the 2019/20 campaign, referee chief Mike Riley has now categorically stated to The Times that if that scenario repeated itself, under our applicable, it would not result in a penalty.

“Sissoko’s a really interesting one. In real time it looks a clear penalty. With VAR you can actually see what he’s doing, and he’s not interested in trying to block the cross, he’s saying to the covering defender, ‘Get over there and fill the space.’ That’s not a deliberate act of extending the arm away from the body. You also see the ball deflects off the chest on to the arm, and if you put everything together and apply the philosophy we do here, we wouldn’t say that was handball.”

He also explained that the penalty awarded against Danny Roe in the quarter-final tie with Manchester City would not have been approved either.

Not that it counts for much now mind you, but at least it means we shouldn’t see such nonsense again.

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8 Replies to ““We Wouldn’t Say That Was Handball” – Referee Chief Comments On Champions League Shambles For Spurs”

  • Such nonsense? Ha ha..How biased can you possibly get? Let me ask you: had it been the other way round with Eriksen crossing and Matip blocking the ball “because he was telling another defender where to cover”, would you still say no pen? Didn’t think so. Don’t look at the word with rose-tinted glasses. And don’t be bitter. Sissoko should never have put his arm up like that with Mane ready to cross the ball right in front of him. Stupid decision by Sissoko. End of.

    • I’d have said it still wasn’t a penalty and that we’d gained an incredible slice of luck and it seems PGMOL would support my position.

    • Christ on a bike, if the pen had gone the other way there would have been riots on the streets of Liverpool.

      Just be honest and admit it was lucky and that a new piece of technology, still very much in its infancy, ruined the biggest final in club football.

  • It was very harsh. If thats your team you takebit but the otger way around and you’re livid. The handball rule has got to change because it killing the game. Liverpool fan.

  • So, Riley has seen it in exactly the same way as many of us have expressed on VS in the two recent articles by Geofspurs, on the new handball rule and on VAR itself. It’s almost as if he had been reading VS and has taken on board some v very good advice from us… LOL!

    Or is it simply that the concerns about handball, VAR and more that were expressed by some of us on here were simply from using a fair, considered and very reasonable form of common sense?

    • Well, a penalty should indeed have been given against Trent. And we were lucky not to concede. So there)

  • Guys, how ever which way you pull it, it was a nailed on pen. Sissoko’s arm was outstretched in a very un-natural position. Whatever Riley says, and he has been proven to be controversial, it was a clear pen. Bad luck for Sissoko, lucky for us, but a pen nevertheless.

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