Willy Boly’s goal is illegal under handball rules, says former referee Dermot Gallagher

Former Fifa referee Dermot Gallagher claims handball laws already make Willy Boly’s goal for Wolves illegal.

The debate has raged since the tall defender dove in an attempt to pass the ball past Manchester City keeper Ederson in Saturday’s 1-1 draw but inadvertently turned it into the Blues net with his hand.

There have been claims that even though referee Martin Atkinson and his assistant spotted the handball, the goal should have stood as it was unintentional.

The Laws of the Game state that handball is only an offense if it is intentional.

The vagueness of the law and the difficulties in deciding whether someone meant to handle the ball led referees to develop their own guidelines.

But Gallagher, who was a Premier League referee for 15 years before his retirement in 2007, believes current laws already prohibit the use of the hand to score a goal, by deduction.



Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shot against Laurent Koscielny’s arm and into the Burnley net two years ago – referees have interpreted the laws differently since

He points to the law of offside to back up his point, telling Sky Sports: “You could say it’s within the laws of the game.

“In the offside law, he shows a diagram of a player level with another player and his arm is in front, and he says he can’t be offside because you can’t be offside. game only if he can score with that body part.

“It implies that you cannot score with your hand.”

But with no explicit law prohibiting the use of the hand or arm, Gallagher says referees operate on a consensus of opinion, since Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot for Arsenal cannonaded into the Burnley net on his team-mate’s arm Laurent Koscielny in 2016.

“Two years ago, when Koscielny scored that goal at Burnley, there was such an outcry after the game about his hand that everyone accepted that scoring with his hand is not allowed. , this is not acceptable,” he said.

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve found that when it gets your hands on it, it’s banned.

“It’s not unique to England. On Friday night, Thomas Muller actually turned his back and the ball hit his elbow and went into the net.

“The referee said ‘No, it fell in his hand, it’s forbidden.'”

Gallagher had sympathy for Atkinson and his assistant, who failed to spot that the goal was not just a handball, but also an offside.

Man City – key information

“The only time he was spotted was on the replay. I watched the game live and thought ‘What a great face!'” he said.

“They played the replay and it went off his arm. It’s impossible for Martin Atkinson to see because of where he is because the ball came in, and I felt for the assistant because he was looking at Matt Doherty to see if there was a off-side.

“His first reaction was that it can’t be clear whether Boly headed the ball or hit his arm and went in.”