Jamie Carragher blasts handball rule after controversial Newcastle penalty at Tottenham Hotspur

Jamie Carragher has blasted the handball rule after labelling the decision to award Newcastle a last-minute penalty against Tottenham Hotspur an ‘absolute disgrace’. 

Spurs were looking to see out a 1-0 win over the Magpies on Sunday afternoon when the ball struck the arm of Eric Dier, who was facing the other way, in the penalty area following a late free kick from the visitors.

VAR intervened and referee Peter Bankes was advised to review the incident on the pitchside monitor. After watching a number of replays, the referee pointed to the spot to award Newcastle a controversial penalty.

Jamie Carragher has blasted a decision to award Newcastle a late penalty against Tottenham

Jamie Carragher has blasted a decision to award Newcastle a late penalty against Tottenham

The visitors were handed a late spot kick after the ball struck the arm of Eric Dier on Sunday

The visitors were handed a late spot kick after the ball struck the arm of Eric Dier on Sunday

New signing Callum Wilson stepped up and made no mistake in dispatching the spot kick beyond Hugo Lloris to snatch a point at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. 

The 2020-21 campaign has seen a handful of controversial decisions relating to penalties awarded for handball, with Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof and Crystal Palace’s Joel Ward already harshly punished this season.

And Carragher has vented his fury with the interpretation of the rule, exclaiming that the rule as it is currently followed is ‘ruining football’.

After consulting VAR, referee Peter Bankes awarded the Magpies a controversial penalty

After consulting VAR, referee Peter Bankes awarded the Magpies a controversial penalty

Carragher slammed the decision while on commentary, calling for drastic changes to be made

Carragher slammed the decision while on commentary, calling for drastic changes to be made

‘It’s an absolute disgrace. An absolute joke,’ the Liverpool legend fumed over Sky Sports commentary. 

‘Newcastle fans will be ecstatic, I can understand that. But everyone else in this country will say exactly what I am saying and what I am thinking. 

‘Eric Dier jumps for the ball, has no control of where his arms are going, there is a header half a yard away from him, hits him on the back of the arm, has no idea what is going on.’

Carragher made a direct plea to football’s governing bodies to immediately change the way the law is interpreted, so as to stop controversial decisions being made. 

Jose Mourinho was angered by the decision, storming down  the tunnel before full time

Jose Mourinho was angered by the decision, storming down  the tunnel before full time

Mourinho's assistant, Joao Sacramento, is sent away after complaining to the referee

Mourinho’s assistant, Joao Sacramento, is sent away after complaining to the referee

‘This is a joke. Whether it’s the Premier League, the FA, FIFA, [Pierluigi] Collina, whoever’s involved in this – stop it, because you are ruining football for everybody. Absolute joke.’

The controversial decision saw a wave of indignation from former players on Twitter, with former Spurs striker Gary Lineker tweeting: ‘Ludicrous. Utterly ludicrous law exacerbated by VAR. Can we have our game back please?’  

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho stormed off down the tunnel before the spot kick was even struck, with the Portuguese tactician angered by the late decision.  

‘I don’t want to speak about it,’ he told BBC Sport. ‘The only feeling I am ready to share is that I don’t feel Tottenham is respected according to to what the club is. No respect.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce sympathised with Spurs and said change needs to happen

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce sympathised with Spurs and said change needs to happen

‘It is my feeling. You know it is the third club I manager in the country, so happy so proud, so happy everyday, I would not change it for any other job in the world but I feel it, I feel we deserve more respect.’ 

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce sympathised with his Tottenham counterpart, saying top flight managers should get together to force change.

‘I can understand why Spurs will go berserk and Roy Hodgson reacted like he did,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘It is a total nonsense, we should be jumping through hoops but I would be devastated if that was us. 

‘Maybe Roy is right, maybe we all need to get together. The decisions are ruining the spectacle. We have to get together as managers and say this must stop.’  

The result means that Spurs have picked up four points from a possible nine so far this season, and take on Mourinho’s former club, Manchester United, next.  

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