All twenty teams have been summoned to a league meeting as the Brazilian FA attempts to clarify its controversial new directive on hand-balls.
Barely a week goes by in the global game without a controversial handball decision leading to a penalty somewhere in the world. Unfortunately for followers of Brazilian football, those incidents have become significantly more frequent recently thanks to a clamp down on accidental handballs by the country’s FA.
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Originally, the Brazilian confederation urged referees to be more rigorous when awarding handball decisions inside the penalty area, but officials have now started awarding penalties every time a ball hits a player’s hand – regardless of intention.
The inconsistent application of the new guideline has led to anger among players, managers and pundits, with confusion over what should or should not constitute a handball now widespread.
Since the new directive was introduced a month ago the number of penalties has increased dramatically, and referees are now planning strike action as a result of the abuse they are getting for applying the new rules.
FIFA are now weighing in on the matter, with their Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca recently telling the Brazilian media that he did not believe the Brazilian FA were following FIFA’s guidelines.
The Brazilian FA have defended their actions, saying the thirty four penalties awarded for handball in the last month all meeting FIFA’s rules. They will meeting with the clubs, referees, FIFA, and the media on Thursday afternoon to analyse videos in an attempt regain some consistency and draw a line under the matter.