Reuters Soccer Blog

A revolutionary (and slightly wacky) idea to spot handballs

April 19, 2010

I have come up with an idea that will revolutionise football. And I was sober at the time.
 
It would solve immediately the problem of knowing when players handle the ball and help referees and linesmen give the right decision every time and cut out attempts by players pleading they never handled the ball when they have — especially in the penalty area.
 
I admit its still a work in progress … but I reckon someone could invent an electro-magnetic liquid which players have to dip their arms in before kickoff. This solution, invisible, weightless, and undetectable would then dry to create a “second skin” from the points of the arm and hands the laws state constitute the areas of handball.
 
An electro-magnetic chip would then be placed in a ball, or the ball would be dipped in the same electro-magnetic fluid — and every time the two made contact … ball and arm/hand — a buzzer would sound from special loudspeakers in the stadium. The system would also be read through long-sleeved shirts and gloves.
 
Immediatly the buzzer goes off, everyone among the players, officials and fans, would know the player has handled — no argument. Naturally, goalkeepers would be exempt and the system would only be activated when the ball was in play, meaning players could still take throw-ins and pick up the ball when a whistle has been blown. 
 
The beauty of this system is that the referee can still decide whether it is accidental handball or not, or ball to hand.
 
The idea occurred to me after being at Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea v Bolton last week and Spurs v Chelsea on Saturday.

Hand of Henry goal makes strong case for video evidence

November 19, 2009

France’s decisive goal against Ireland in their World Cup play-off will only add further weight to the case for using a video ref, or extra goal-line officials, at least in the biggest matches.

Let’s take ‘deliberately’ out of the handball law

November 25, 2008

I have a suggestion on how to clear up inconsistencies with handballs.

Law 12 states that “a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player…handles the ball deliberately”.