Decision was made nothing less than 24 hours after Josh Maja’s goal for Fulham was cancelled.
According to International Football Association Board, Accidental handball that leads to a team-mate scoring a goal or having a goal-scoring opportunity will no longer be considered an offence, the game’s lawmaking body the International Football Association Board has announced.
The controversial part of the handball law came into play during Thursday night’s Premier League ties between Fulham and Tottenham, the Cottagers seeing a goal by Josh Maja ruled out when the ball ran into the hand of his team-mate Mario Lemina from a Davinson Sanchez clearance which was some yards away.
And the IFAB has now finalized on the change, which would be effective from 1 July. However, competitions have the flexibility and can introduce changes on or before that date, IFAB said.
An IFAB statement states “As the interpretation of handball incidents has not always been consistent due to incorrect applications of the law, the members made it known that not every touch of a player’s hand/arm with the ball would be regarded as an offence.”
It added: “Accidental handball that leads to a team-mate scoring a goal or having a goal-scoring opportunity will no longer be considered an offence.”
It will remain a handball offence if a player scores accidentally with their hand or arm, or uses their hand or arm directly before scoring.
Fulham boss Scott Parker hit out at the law in the wake of his team’s defeat to Tottenham, saying: “I understand why the goal was not given and that’s the rule. I don’t agree with the rule.