Premier League set to confirm rule change affecting Man United and Man City

The Premier League are set to announce a change to the controversial handball rule from next season that will affect both Manchester United and Manchester City.

With the 2021/22 season set to get underway on August 14th, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have announced there will be changes made on how the handball rule is enforced going forward.

There was plenty of controversy surrounding the rule during the previous campaign, with VAR hogging all of the spotlight around decisions made. Players had claimed to be unsure of the rule themselves but that looks set to change now with the new ruling.

Martin Atkinson signals handball
The handball rule will change this summer ahead of the new season

Manchester United were left bemused when an accidental handball by Victor Lindelof gave Crystal Palace a penalty in their opening day defeat to Crystal Palace, while an unintentional handball by Callum Hudson-Odoi went unpunished against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

City on the other hand were also hit by the rule when Gabriel Jesus’ accidental handball saw Aymeric Laporte’s apparent equaliser against Tottenham in November saw the goal ruled out.

It has now been confirmed however that from July 1st 2021 the rule will officially change and will be enforced in the Premier League from next season.

“Law 12 emphasises that not every touch of a player’s hand/arm with the ball is an offence,” the IFAB wrote on Twitter.

“A player’s hand/arm position should be judged in relation to their body movement in that particular situation.

“A player has made their body unnaturally bigger when the hand/arm position is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation.

“By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of being penalised.

“OFFENCE – scoring in the opponents’ goal: directly from the scorer’s hand/arm, plus immediately after the ball has touched the scorer’s hand/arm.

The ball hits the hand of Callum Hudson-Odoi as he is is challenged by Mason Greenwood
The ball hits the hand of Callum Hudson-Odoi as he is is challenged by Mason Greenwood

“Accidental handball by a team-mate before a goal and accidental handball creating a goal-scoring opportunity are NOT now offences.”

These rules will be in effect during the Euro 2020 tournament this summer too, so we will be able to see them in-play throughout the summer ahead of the new Premier League season.