sport news Newcastle left fuming, baffled and caught up in ... trends now

sport news Newcastle left fuming, baffled and caught up in ... trends now
sport news Newcastle left fuming, Real Madrid baffled and Manchester United caught up in ... trends now

sport news Newcastle left fuming, Real Madrid baffled and Manchester United caught up in ... trends now

Alan Shearer called it a 'load of s***' and a 'disgusting decision'. Jermaine Jenas said Newcastle United 'had been robbed'. Ally McCoist branded it a 'disgrace'.

Their fury was completely understandable as Newcastle were denied a famous Champions League victory away to Paris Saint-Germain by the most contentious of penalty calls.

In the eighth minute of stoppage time, as they led courtesy of Alexander Isak's first-half goal and Nick Pope's superb saves, Ousmane Dembele's cross struck Tino Livramento on the chest and then bounced onto his arm.

After consulting his pitchside monitor, referee Szymon Marciniak awarded a penalty that was converted by Kylian Mbappe to salvage PSG a point that could prove pivotal in deciding who makes the knockout rounds.

Newcastle's palpable sense of outrage won't be soothed by the revelation that UEFA chose not to implement recommendations on interpreting the handball law that would have denied PSG their spot-kick.

Paris Saint-Germain were awarded a penalty deep into injury time at the end of their Champions League clash with Newcastle after Tino Livramento was adjudged to have handled

Paris Saint-Germain were awarded a penalty deep into injury time at the end of their Champions League clash with Newcastle after Tino Livramento was adjudged to have handled 

Newcastle were mere minutes from a famous win in Paris to boost their last-16 chances

Newcastle were mere minutes from a famous win in Paris to boost their last-16 chances

Referee Szymon Marciniak - who officiated the World Cup final in Qatar last year - awarded the penalty in light of stricter UEFA guidelines around officiating the handball law

Referee Szymon Marciniak - who officiated the World Cup final in Qatar last year - awarded the penalty in light of stricter UEFA guidelines around officiating the handball law

The problem lies in a disparity between the Premier League and the Champions League when it comes to handball penalty decisions.

The rules are much tighter in European competition and Newcastle are the latest victims.

Back in April, at the inaugural meeting of UEFA's Football Board at their headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, a more lenient position on handball decisions was floated.

That would have brought it into line with the situation in England's Premier League, where the stricter interpretation was dropped in 2020 after complaints from players and managers.

The Football Board - which features such famous names as Zinedine Zidane, Paolo Maldini, Fabio Capello and Petr Cech - recommended that 'UEFA should clarify that no handball offence should be called on a player if the ball is previously deflected from his own body and, in particular, when the ball does not go towards the goal.'

However, UEFA decided not to change their stance and kept in place what is a literalist interpretation of the handball rules.

Even if the ball deflects off a player's body onto their hand or arm - as happened with Livramento on Tuesday night - no allowance will be given and it will still be a penalty.

Kylian Mbappe equalised from the penalty spot in a blow to Newcastle's qualification hopes

Kylian Mbappe equalised from the penalty spot in a blow to Newcastle's qualification hopes

Referee Marciniak had to review the handball decision under pressure from noisy fans

Referee Marciniak had to review the handball decision under pressure from noisy fans

It helps explain why we see more penalties awarded for handball in the Champions League compared to top domestic leagues across Europe.

According to ESPN, since the beginning of last season, 46 handball penalties have been awarded in 197 games - or 0.234 per game.

By comparison, this figure stands at 0.062 per game in the Premier League, 0.110 in Spain's LaLiga and 0.099 in Germany's Bundesliga.

So it's little wonder what is effectively a two-track system between competitions is catching teams out. A universal interpretation of the handball laws isn't available.

A similar incident to Livramento's happened in Real Madrid's 3-2 win away to Napoli back in October when the Italian team were awarded a penalty after the ball deflected onto Nacho's hand as he slide tackled Victor Osimhen inside the box.

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti was nonplussed afterwards, saying: 'It's rebounded on to Nacho's hand - you can't cut your hand off! The rule says that on a rebound, you can't give a penalty.'

That may be true in LaLiga but unfortunately that will be given in the Champions League.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti wasn't best pleased after Nacho was penalised for handball against Napoli earlier in the Champions League group stage

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti wasn't best pleased after

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