The current laws around handball are “nonsense” but it was correctly applied in West Ham’s 3-2 loss to Newcastle United.
That is the view of former FIFA and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Ciaran Clark gave away a penalty that resulted in West Ham’s second goal at St. James’ Park.
Clark was adjudged to have used his hand when challenging for a header with West Ham’s Tomas Soucek with Newcastle leading 2-1.
There were no appeals from the West Ham players but it was reviewed by VAR and referee Kevin Friend reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor and overturning his decision.
“For me, there is nonsense with the handball law,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“The player by raising his hand in that manner has put himself at risk if the ball strikes it will be given as handball because he’s making his body shape larger.
“There’s no doubt that Kevin Friend and VAR operated in the correct manner. This was a deliberate handball, he’s got his hand raised. He’s got it in front of his face.
“That’s a fairly straightforward penalty kick decision where VAR is seen to operate extremely well.
“I’m referring to the accidental handball law [by calling it nonsense]. When the handball law was changed and they said the arm up to the underside of the armpit is the area that can be deemed where you can commit an offence. The shoulder is now active part of the body you can play.
“That mirrors across and we’ve now seen how that’s impacted offside where we’ve seen shoulders come into play.”