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Tottenham vs Fulham, handball, VAR, controversy, referee, Mario Lemina, reaction

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Calls have intensified for a change to the handball law after Fulham were denied an equalising goal in a 1-0 loss to Tottenham.

Mario Lemina was blameless for the disallowed goal when Davinson Sanchez’s clearance from point-blank range cannoned off his arm before the ball broke to Maja to fire home.

The decision did not go down well, with many Premier League experts questioning what Lemina was supposed to do.

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VAR dishes out soft red card | 00:57

“Dreadfully harsh on Lemina for that to be handball,” the Daily Star’s Paul Brown tweeted.

“His arm is by his side and he has no chance of getting out of the way – but that’s what you get when you write laws like this.”

“This is the issue with different Laws for attacking and defensive handball,” ESPN’s Dale Johnson added.

“ANY handball, no matter the position of the arm – tucked in, outstretched, by the side – leading to a goal or a scoring chance must be penalised.

“No option but to disallow the Fulham goal.

“It’s a rubbish Law, and we don’t want to see goals disallowed for things like that.

“But it IS the Law, and unless the IFAB says tomorrow it is changing attacking handball somehow for 2021-22, we’re stuck with it.”

“Arm glued to his side, ball booted at him from point-blank range – how can that be a foul? If it was a defender, it wouldn’t be,” football scribe Robin Bairner tweeted.

“Handball law is absolutely crazy.”

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The current handball laws deem any deliberate touch with the hand or arm should be penalised while accidental contact could also lead to an infraction if “the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger” or “the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm.”

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