Dermot Gallagher says that he has sympathy for Eric Dier and Tottenham Hotspur following Newcastle United’s controversial penalty in Sunday’s draw.
Dier was adjudged to have handled the ball when Andy Carroll’s header struck his arm, despite the fact the Spurs player was facing away from the ball and had no chance of getting out the way.
Former Premier League referee Gallagher said that, by the letter of the law, it was a correct decision to give a penalty.
Yet, speaking on Sky Sports’ ref watch, Gallagher argued that referees have their arms tied over decisions such as this due to the fact there is no room for interpretation in the law.
Gallagher also said that the world accidental should be added into the laws to give leeway in situations like Dier’s.
He said: “By the letter of the law, what I want to emphasise here is that there’s been so much aimed at the referees over the weekend, I think Eric Dier becomes a victim of the law as his arms are raised and he doesn’t know he’s going to do it.
“But Peter Bankes – and Kevin Friend at Crystal Palace – are equally victims because they have to apply that law.
Why should you sign up?
In each football.london Tottenham bulletin, we’ll bring you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces, as well as the key talking points for fans.
We’ll also send special newsletters when big stories break or there’s a special event happening.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds. Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article in the Spurs section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
And that’s it, you’re all set. If you decide later you no longer wish to receive the emails, hit the unsubscribe link in the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to. For more details, click here.
“It’s stated if the hand is above the shoulder or the head, it’s going to be penalised.
“That was clearly above the shoulder. It’s accidental, I know, but there’s no caveat in there to say accidental handball is no longer punishable.
“So, unfortunately, however you cut it, the referee had no option but to give a penalty.”