Refereeing Controversies Will Not Go Away but Jenas Better

Embarrassing. After another weekend of controversial var decisions, it seems that this is the only appropriate word. Yes, the expectations are too high. Yes, everyone makes mistakes. But at the end of the day, this is not brain surgery: when Jermaine Jenas pulled out his cell phone to call referee Rob Jones a “bad house,” he shouldhave taken a deep breath, counted to 10, and then walked away.

Jenas, the BBC pundit and the pre-season face of a– you couldn’t write it down – football association campaign to promote respect for referees, has made himself look stupid all the time. Just another weekend in the Barclays, one might say. But Jena’s message on social networks full of errors (full text: “complete shit house by a referee! They are all ruining our game!”) is hardly atypical. People lose their matters every week on the decisions of the referees.

The central controversy this week involved Tottenham, Jena’s former team, who conceded a penalty against Arsenal in the North London Derby after Cristian Romero blocked a shot on goal from Ben White. Initially, Jones chose not to give the penalty, but after a long deliberation by VAR Paul Tierney, Jones was advised to go to his monitor, where he duly reversed his decision and allowed Arsenal a 2-1 lead, which they maintained for a Minute.

After the match, Spurs Manager Ange Postecoglou offered an overview of the decision, which was a little more measured than Jenas’s, but still critical. “I couldn’t see it, but I have no idea about the Handball rule,” he said. “I really don’t. It seems that if it hits your hand, it’s a penalty, then if it hits your hand, it’s not a penalty. This is the only rule of the game that I just don’t understand. Unless we start developing armless defenders, I don’t know how to block things and be in a natural Position.”

With these last two words, Postecoglou sums up what warms people up about handball decisions. Under Rule 12 of the game, a player can be penalized for manipulation if the ball hits his arm in a Position where the Player’s body shape has become “abnormally larger”. This is a difficult concept to understand. After all, what is, of course, big? And does the definition of the waist change when the body falls? Or jump? Or just stand still?

The law says that this is the matter. A body can be abnormally large if its size is not “a consequence or can be justified by the movement of the player’s body for that specific Situation”. In addition, the guidelines on the application of the rule, communicated to Premier League officials by the referees organization Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) earlier in the Season, stated that “abnormally larger” is also influenced by the fact that the player is “taking a risk” by placing his arm where he could be hit.

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