Bruce calls for handball rule change despite Newcastle penalty award

‘We have to get together as managers, go to the Premier League and say “this must stop”‘: Newcastle boss Steve Bruce urges teams to unite against ‘nonsense’ new handball rule… even though HIS side benefitted from penalty award against Tottenham

  • A late header from Andy Carroll struck the right arm of Eric Dier in the box
  • Callum Wilson scored the resulting spot-kick to leave Jose Mourinho furious
  • Bruce’s anger mirrors Roy Hodgson’s yesterday after another handball decision
  • REPORT: Callum Wilson snatches last-gasp point for Newcastle against Spurs 

Steve Bruce has become the latest Premier League manager to criticise the new handball law and called for the Premier League to scrap it despite Newcastle United benefiting from a late penalty decision to equalise at Tottenham Hotspur. 

A free-kick floated into the Tottenham box in second-half stoppage time was headed by Andy Carroll onto the right arm of an airborne Eric Dier at point-blank range.  

After VAR concluded that there was no offside during the set-piece, referee Peter Bankes went over to the pitchside monitor and controversially gave the spot-kick.

Andy Carroll headed the ball against Eric Dier’s arm from close range in the dying minutes

Peter Bankes reviewed the pitchside monitor before awarding a penalty to Newcastle United

Callum Wilson slotted home despite Hugo Lloris getting a touch on the ball and a furious Jose Mourinho then stormed down the tunnel before the final whistle had blown.

Speaking after the game, Bruce said: ‘I can understand why Spurs are going to go berserk. It’s a total nonsense. We’ve got one today and we should be jumping for joy and through hoops, but I’d be devastated if it was against us. 

‘Maybe Roy [Hodgson]’s right, we have to all get together. We put the referees under this enormous pressure. The handball rule’s been around for years and if it’s deliberate handball then yes, but the decisions are, for me, ruining the spectacle. 

‘It was great for us today of course, but we have to brutally honest, one or two of them will go against us, so I think we have to get together as the managers, coaches to go to the Premier League and say, “this must stop”.’ 

Crystal Palace manager Hodgson, after admitting last week that his side were lucky to get a penalty last week in the 3-1 win at Manchester United, had blasted the decision to penalise his right back Joel Ward as the Eagles lost 2-1 to Everton on Saturday and said the ruling was ‘killing the game’. 

‘I do not understand how we in football, and I’m talking now about the Premier League, I’m talking about referees, I’m talking about managers, I’m talking about coaches and I’m talking about players, I do not understand how we have allowed this rule to come into operation,’ he fumed. 

Bruce was vocal in opposing the penalty decision that helped earn Newcastle United a point

‘For me, it’s completely unacceptable and it’s certainly destroying my enjoyment of the game of football.

‘I’m just disappointed that the result went against us in the way it did as a result of a rule that we’ve now brought into football which I think is killing the game. 

‘I’m not just saying it today, I’ve been saying it all along. For me, handball is a very simple rule. When you deliberately handle it to stop a goal being scored or to get an advantage, it’s handball. And when the ball hits you and you can do nothing about it, it’s not handball.’

A furious Mourinho did not wait for the full-time whistle to blow as he stormed down the tunnel

Mourinho’s assistant Joao Sacramento protested the decision and was sent away at full-time

Spurs had taken a first-half lead against the Magpies when Harry Kane’s ball zipped across the box for Lucas Moura to convert at the back post. 

Son Heung-min hit the woodwork twice before being replaced at half-time by Steven Bergwijn after sustaining a hamstring injury.

The visitors had Karl Darlow to thank for keeping them in the game as he made 11 saves before the late drama.  

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