Referee Anthony Taylor ensured that he remained persona non grata in Chelsea circles (online petition and all) with his latest match-changing performance on Saturday, in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool, wherein he let Liverpool get away with just about everything (how many fouls for Fabinho again?) and sent off Reece James on the stroke of half-time.
Granted, no one really knows what the latest handball rules are, and perhaps by the letter of the law, James indeed should’ve been sent off. These laws change seemingly every year, and not always for the better or the more sensible and reasonable (rule about deflections removed this season, for example).
But the fact that Taylor made that decision in a split second by barely even glancing at a still frame (for a rule that specifically talks about movement) on the “video” replay monitor certainly did not go down well with those in Chelsea blue. He had let play go on initially, then flip-flopped into a double whammy of a penalty and a red card seemingly on a whim. Incorrect decisions are part of refereeing. Inconsistencies are what infuriate the most.
For the purposes of determining handball offences, the upper boundary of the arm is in line with the bottom of the armpit. Not every touch of a player’s hand/arm with the ball is an offence.
-It is an offence if a player:
-deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, for example moving the hand/arm towards the ball
-touches the ball with their hand/arm when it has made their body unnaturally bigger. A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and being penalised
-scores in the opponents’ goal:
-directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper
-immediately after the ball has touched their hand/arm, even if accidental
The only issue was the poor use of the monitor. It is there to "sell" the decision to players and supporters, but this didn't happen.— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) August 30, 2021
It certainly wouldn't have changed the decision, it was a definite red card and penalty. But Anthony Taylor should have viewed in full. pic.twitter.com/vIRu8uS9ab
And Chelsea were certainly furious, as one would expect in that situation, protesting before the penalty was taken, after the penalty was taken, and during the half-time break that followed almost immediately. That gave enough ammunition for The FA to roll out not one, but two Breach of Rule E20.1 charges against us — the classic failure to control our players one — which we will presumably “accept” and pay the requisite fines for.
Here’s a thought, maybe spent all these monies earned from these ridiculous fines and charges on better referees and better refereeing, so that these sorts of nonsense scenes don’t have to happen with discouraging regularity, and not just in Chelsea games (Pogba foul for United’s winner against Wolves anyone?), but seemingly week in and week out in the Best League in the World™.