Sky Sports pundit, Jamie Carragher, has described the handball rule that cost West Ham a point last night as an ‘absolute joke’.
The Hammers were denied a late equaliser when VAR intervened to disallow Robert Snodgrass’ goal at Bramall Lane.
Declan Rice was judged to have handled the ball on the way through to goal. Referee, Michael Oliver, overturned the goal to send the home supporters into raptures.
It was a sweet moment for Blades fans, too. They have seen their club be the victim of VAR on numerous occasions this season and many will have believed they were owed a decision.
However, Carragher, who was watching on commentary for the game, lamented the decision, taking to Twitter to call the decision an ‘absolute joke’ following the game.
Absolute joke this handball rule!
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 10, 2020
Unlike most decisions which have been overturned this season, Carragher had no issues with VAR as such.
Instead, his issue was with the handball rule. A change in the summer means that any attacking player who scores or assists a goal with the help of their arm shall be adjudged to have committed handball.
However, Blades fans didn’t care one bit. As Carragher pointed on commentary, the Bramall Lane Kop erupted when the decision was overturned.
Oli McBurnie had given United the lead before Snodgrass saw his effort ruled out in injury time.
VAR and rules the talking point yet again
As is becoming the norm in the Premier League, it was decisions and not the football, that was the main talking point.
Carragher has a point with his comments. The rule is harsh to attacking players. But, on the other hand, where is the line drawn when it comes to handball?
Furthermore, had the decision not been overturned, it would have been inconsistent with the rest of the season.
Obviously, the rule needs looking at in the summer. But no matter how harsh Carragher thinks the decision is, the rule was applied correctly by VAR and the referee.