Premier League handball rules explained after VAR controversy between Man City and Liverpool

Manchester City were down 2-0 against Liverpool after just 15 minutes at Anfield, but the game was not without controversy.

Liverpool opened the scoring with Fabinho’s strike from the edge of the box but the goal was checked by VAR amid a handball call from the other end of the pitch.

The ball appeared to touch Trent Alexander-Arnold’s hand during the preparation, which would have resulted in a penalty for Man City, but the referee and VAR disagreed.

Here’s what the Premier League is saying about the rules for handball in the Premier League this season amid the Man City controversy.

What are the new rules?

There are a number of important rule changes in handball.

First, if a player scores using a hand, both accidentally and intentionally, it will be disallowed.

The biggest change was in intention. Handballs no longer need to be intentional in order for them to be given.

It all depends on the positioning of the arm or the hand.

If the arm or hand makes the body “unusually big”, it is handball.

The rules say that an arm or hand above the shoulder can “seldom be a natural position.” Having the arm or hand in this position is considered a risk for the player.

Of course, if the arm or hand is away from the body, this will be considered to make the body “unusually large” and a handball will be awarded.

The only exception is when a player puts their hand on the ground for support during a slide or fall challenge. If the ball touches an arm or a hand in this situation, it will not be awarded as a handball.

Are the deflections different?

Players will have “extra leeway” when the ball deflects with an arm or hand.

If the ball deflects onto an opponent or teammate and it is deemed impossible for the player to move their arm or hand in time, a handball will not be awarded.

This is also the case if the bullet comes quickly from a part of the body of their own.

For example, if they accidentally misdirected the ball to their own arm, the handball will not be given.