Steerpike Steerpike

Is the EU to blame for football’s daft new handball rule?

It’s not often Mr S jumps to the defence of the EU, but he is prepared to make an exception. A new handball rule in football caused controversy over the weekend after a last-minute goal by Manchester City was ruled out. The reason? City player Aymeric Laporte was judged to have lightly touched the ball following a video check.

So who’s to blame for the stringent new rule that cost the Premier League champions victory in their game against Tottenham? The EU, according to football manager Ian Holloway:

‘I don’t think that’s our boys making up that new change of law. I think that’s people telling us what we should do with our game. Now, they should stop doing that. I hope we get out of Brexit, because that’s what we all voted for, and sort that out, because you cannot have someone telling us how to do our own game.’

But Mr S thinks that Holloway might be left disappointed after Brexit. The rule was brought in by the International Football Association Board, which has nothing to do with the EU…

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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