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Premier League tweaks controversial handball rule ahead of Match Day 4 fixtures


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Premier League referees will be given a “tweaked” version of the handball law, the UK Mirror reports.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) will send out a fresh directive to officials, following a number of controversial decisions last weekend.

PGMOL chief, Mike Riley, has already received backing from football lawmakers, International Football Association Board (IFAB), as it regards the “proximity” of opponents when the ball hits the arm of an opponent and also the position of the arm.

This means that Everton’s penalty against Joel Ward would not have been awarded, because the Crystal Palace defender would be adjudged too close to get out of the way.

But Tottenham defender, Eric Dier, would still be deemed to give away a penalty, because according to law 12, the ball struck his arm when it was above his shoulder.

The Dier decision especially attracted a lot of backlash, but the Premier League does not believe there is any room for manoeuvre under the new handball rule on the position of the arm.

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Riley is hopeful the new directive, which was discussed at Tuesday’s Premier League meeting, will help referees as it comes in this weekend.

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