De Bruyne watched as Man City's apparent late winner vs. Tottenham was taken off the board after a review enforced IFAB's new handball rule.

By 90Min
August 19, 2019

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has jokingly suggested the only way players can avoid falling foul of new handball regulations would be to chop their arms off.

The rules played a huge part in City's 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Saturday, as a late strike from Gabriel Jesus was eventually ruled out after VAR saw the ball inadvertently deflect off Aymeric Laporte's arm in the build-up.

Speaking after the game, De Bruyne confessed he was not the biggest fan of VAR, adding that it was impossible for Laporte to avoid making contact with the ball.

He said: “What can he do - should he chop his arm off and play without? They made this rule, it’s new, but when I saw the video, it’s impossible to take his arm away.

“There’s nothing he can do because Nicolas Otamendi is in front of him by 10cm and trying to head the ball. You can’t react in that space and amount of time. Make it clear - handball both sides.

"I’m old fashioned, I’m not the biggest pro-VAR. If you want to make football better you can understand it. I don’t understand it at all - it should be debated.

“We knew it was being reviewed - every goal is reviewed - but I didn’t know why and Tottenham didn’t know why. The rules should be clear. If the ball had touched somebody of Tottenham’s arm it’s not a penalty, but if it touched our arm it is not allowed!

“It should go both ways in something like that. I don’t understand that as a player. It’s so confusing.”

In the FA's new rules, Law 12 states that a foul must be given if a goalscoring opportunity is created after the ball strikes a player's hand, inadvertently or otherwise. However, there is no regulation for if the ball strikes a defender's arm in the same situation.

City teammate Ilkay Gundogan added: “Any attacker that commits handball, intentional or not, is now ruled a free kick but if you’re defending it’s fine? It only disadvantages the attacking team. This rule must be changed.”

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