Handball law gives Fifa consistency and fans something to rail against

In these troubled times, scraps of normality glint like a jewel in the dirt. Three cheers, then, for a weekendwhen the football discourse was dominated not by the imminent collapse of the league pyramid or the unsuccessful containment of a global pandemic but, sweet bliss, by people becoming furious about refereeing.

Like wandering aimlessly through a crowd, or paying for something with coins, the heated response to this season’s new interpretation of the handball rule has the feel of a charming throwback. To hear Roy Hodgson fuming against the law – “I don’t want to profit from it or lose from it” – or to see Steve Bruce decry it as “a nonsense, a nonsense of a rule” felt like slumping back into a battered pub sofa, only without having to look over your shoulder to check how many people were sitting at the next table. Being incensed about something

Read More