Steve Bruce urges teams to unite against handball rule despite Newcastle being given a penalty


‘Maybe we can all get together and stop it because we’re ruining the spectacle… I know it’ll bite me eventually’: Newcastle boss Steve Bruce urges managers to unite against new handball rule – despite HIS team benefitting from penalty at Spurs

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has called on fellow managers to challenge the handball rule which he says is ‘ruining’ football, despite it gifting his team a point at Tottenham.

Bruce’s side were the beneficiaries of the latest VAR farce on Sunday, when Eric Dier was penalised for handball in stoppage time. The defender was looking the other way when Andy Carroll’s header struck his arm at point-blank range.

‘The whole VAR thing and handball in particular this year is a total nonsense,’ admitted Bruce. ‘Maybe we can all get together and stop it because we’re ruining the spectacle. We’ve got away with one today, but it could have quite easily been at our end.

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

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

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

‘I thought VAR was coming in for clear and obvious decisions. It’s ludicrous and it ruins the spectacle of the Premier League.If we’re not careful, all we’re going to talk about is VAR and VAR decisions. And for me, that’s not right.

‘The whole thing of handball has been going on for 100 years maybe — if it’s a deliberate and obvious handball denying a goalscoring opportunity, then yes. But I don’t even think Dier was looking at the ball.

‘I should be delighted but I know it’ll bite me eventually. That’s wrong.’

Bruce defended referee Peter Bankes, who made the call after consulting his pitchside monitor, adding: ‘It’s the right decision in the laws, but if it had gone against us I’d have been outraged. 

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

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

‘Is it the same in Italy, Germany, Spain, or is it just our country where we (apply) the letter of the law? We saw a ridiculous one with Everton’s winning goal (at Crystal Palace) and we’ve seen an equally ridiculous one today.’

After that game on Saturday, Palace manager Roy Hodgson claimed the rules were ‘killing the game’ but Jose Mourinho refused to criticise the latest decision. However, he stormed down the tunnel as Callum Wilson converted the penalty for a 1-1 draw.

Sky pundit Jamie Carragher branded the Dier punishment a ‘disgrace’ and ‘absolute joke’.

He added: ‘Whether it’s the Premier League, the FA, FIFA, Pierluigi Collina (chairman of their referees’ committee), whoever’s involved in this — stop it, because you are ruining football for everybody.’

On Twitter, Gary Lineker added: ‘Ludicrous. Utterly ludicrous law exacerbated by VAR. Can we have our game back please?’

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

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

Mourinho, whose team had conceded a controversial penalty in last week’s 5-2 win at Southampton, said: ‘We know the Tottenham box is a special box. We kept them away and then we had a situation that we lost two points, but I’m not going to comment on it. If I want to give some money away, I’ll give to charity, not to the FA.’

Mourinho insisted he had no message for the law-makers but after his goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos was red-carded for complaining at the final whistle, he couldn’t resist a dig at former club Manchester United, who won at Brighton on Saturday thanks to a penalty awarded after the final whistle.

‘I know in some matches with some clubs, even after the last whistle it’s possible for something important to happen. With us, I knew the game was over.’

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

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


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