Kevin de Bruyne ‘doesn’t understand new handball rule at all’ as Man City question VAR review

Aymeric Laporte was punished for the ball hitting his arm that chalked off Gabriel Jesus’ potential match-winner against Tottenham due to a VAR review

Pep Guardiola unhappy with VAR inconsistencies after Man City draw

Kevin de Bruyne has become the latest Manchester City player to question the new handball regulations after the Premier League champions were dramatically denied victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

With the score locked at 2-2 at the Etihad on Saturday, Gabriel Jesus briefly believed he had found a stoppage-time winner, only for the goal to be disallowed following a VAR review.

The ball had struck Aymeric Laporte on the arm on its way through to Jesus. Laporte was challenging for the ball with Tottenham’s Oliver Skipp and the touch did not appear intentional.

However, whereas handball was previously only penalised if deliberate, new rules which came into effect this summer mean some accidental offences can now also be punished.

According to Law 12, a player who “gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm” and then creates a goal-scoring opportunity is guilty of a handball offence.

Wolverhampton Wanderers were similarly punished on the opening weekend, when Leander Dendoncker’s goal against Leicester City was ruled out for a deflection off Wily Boly’s arm.

De Bruyne accepted the decision but questioned the new regulations, joking that players may need to lose limbs in order to ensure they stay on the right side of the law.

“They made this rule, it’s new,” he said. “When I saw the video, it’s impossible to take his arm away, what can he do, should he chop his arm off and play without it?”

Nicolas Otamendi jumped to head the ball shortly before it hit Laporte’s arm but missed. De Bruyne felt this made it difficult for Laporte to move his arm out of the way.

“There’s nothing he can do because Nico is in front of him 10 centimetres and trying to head the ball. You can’t react in that space and amount of time.

“It is what it is. I’m old fashioned, I’m not the biggest pro-VAR, I think if you want to make football better you can understand it.”

The ball hits the arm of Aymeric Laporte that lead to Gabriel Jesus' goal being disallowed

Had the ball hit Skipp’s arm, City would most likely have not won a penalty. Accidental handball is still allowed if the defender’s arm is deemed to be in a natural position.

De Bruyne believes that part of the rule needs to be reviewed. “I was told after the game that if it hit Tottenham’s arm it wouldn’t have been a penalty, so I don’t understand it. I don’t understand it at all,” he said. “It should be debated.”

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