Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has given his verdict on the penalty incident in the Tottenham vs Burnley game.
Tottenham were awarded a penalty during their home match against Burnley after Davinson Sanchez appeared to kick the ball onto Ashley Barnes’ arm. The referee initially didn’t give the decision but was recommended a review by the VAR official, and a penalty was eventually awarded.
Former Premier League referee Halsey has given his verdict on whether the penalty should have been given.
“Was that a deliberate act from Barnes? The distance proximity of the player and the ball, the pace of the ball. You could say it’s harsh, but you could say why was his arm up that high?” Said Halsey, speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside.
VAR intervention, Burnley players and staff remonstrate.
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There’s no doubt the decision was harsh, as the ball only brushed Barnes’ arm, and didn’t change the trajectory of the ball. However, his arm was in an unnatural position, and the amount of contact on the arm is irrelevant in this situation.
“As much as we all think it’s harsh, you can’t argue that it was correct in law,” added Halsey.
Unfortunately for Barnes, his arm was in an unnatural position, and the ball did strike his arm. Having your arm held so high will only give the officials a decision to make, and with the modern-day handball rules, the correct decision was made in the end.
Burnley are understandably frustrated at the decision due to their league position, but they should be pointing their finger toward Barnes, rather than the referee.