Mark Clattenburg explains rules over Liverpool penalty awarded for Leeds United defender Robin Koch's handball

FORMER leading referee Mark Clattenburg says Michael Oliver was "100 per cent correct" to award Liverpool an early penalty for Leeds United defender Robin Koch's handball in Saturday's clash at Anfield.

Monday, 14th September 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 14th September 2020, 3:43 pm

Man in the middle Oliver pointed to the spot in just the third minute as Reds striker Mo Salah's fierce shot deflected off new Whites recruit Koch's thigh before striking his forearm.

Former Reds defender Jamie Carragher described the decision as "extremely harsh" during Sky Sports' commentary but after a check from VAR, Salah stepped up to blast home the spot kick into the roof of the net.

The goal proved crucial with defending champions Liverpool going on to edge a seven-goal thriller with a 4-3 victory after Marcelo Bielsa's Whites had fought back to level three times.

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'CORRECT CALL': Liverpool striker Mo Salah's fierce shot hits Leeds United centre-back Robin Koch's arm for an early Reds penalty. Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images.

Writing in his Sportsmail column for the Daily Mail, former Premier League and FIFA referee Clattenburg said: "Michael Oliver was 100 per cent correct to award Liverpool's first penalty when Mo Salah's shot deflected off the thigh of Leeds defender Robin Koch and up onto his arm.

"Let us get one thing straight - and I can't believe people are still talking about this two years later - but the word 'deliberate' has been removed from the Laws of the Game.

"It does not matter that Koch did not deliberately handle the ball, his arm was outstretched and in an unnatural position, it made his body bigger.

"It also does not matter that the ball was deflected before hitting his arm. Koch had thrown his body at the shot and took that risk.

"That is why you now see a lot of defenders approaching such situations with their hands behind their back."

Premier League rules state that 'players will be allowed extra leeway when it comes to ricocheted handballs.'

The rules state that 'It is often impossible to avoid contact with the ball if it has deflected off the body of an opponent, team-mate, or even another part of the own player.

'So a handball will not be awarded if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm directly from their own head/body/foot or the head/body/foot of another player who is close/nearby.'

Those rules can be viewed here

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Thank you Laura Collins