Michael Owen slates handball rule as an 'absolute MESS' after West Ham are denied stoppage time penalty in Europa League defeat against Freiburg
EuropaLeague

Michael Owen slates handball rule as an 'absolute MESS' after West Ham are denied stoppage time penalty in Europa League defeat against Freiburg

Mar 22, 2024
  • The Hammers were denied a late penalty at Freiburg’s Europa-Park Stadion
  • Michael Owen fumed over the decision following a four-minute VAR check
  • The great Klopp and Guardiola rivalry: who comes out on top in their last-ever league game? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast

Michael Owen has blasted the handball rule as an ‘absolute mess’ after West Ham were denied a late penalty following a four-minute VAR check in Thursday’s Europa League defeat against Freiburg.

The Hammers fell to a single-goal in the round of 16 first-leg clash at the Europa-Park Stadion as Michael Gregoritsch struck late, but felt they should have been awarded a spot-kick deep in stoppage time.

A cross into the box destined for the head of Czech international Tomas Soucek was intercepted by the hand of Noah Weisshaupt who appeared to have his arm raised in an unnatural position.

What followed was a lengthy VAR check that involved referee Alejandro Hernandez who after reviewing the incident on a pitchside monitor decided there was no infringement committed by the Freiburg player.

Former Liverpool striker Owen fumed at the decision afterwards where he slated the handball rule’s interpretation. 

Michael Owen has blasted the handball rule as an 'absolute mess' after West Ham were denied a late penalty against Freiburg

Michael Owen has blasted the handball rule as an ‘absolute mess’ after West Ham were denied a late penalty against Freiburg

A cross into the box destined for the head of Czech international Tomas Soucek was intercepted by the hand of Noah Weisshaupt

A cross into the box destined for the head of Czech international Tomas Soucek was intercepted by the hand of Noah Weisshaupt

Owen questioned the interpretation of the handball rule after West Ham had their claims dismissed

Owen questioned the interpretation of the handball rule after West Ham had their claims dismissed

Speaking on TNT Sport, Owen stated: ‘You can [see West Ham frustration] because it’s just incredibly inconsistent, isn’t it? The handball rule is an absolute mess.

‘And from what we’ve seen of that type of decision in the past in the recent past, then you’d say it’s a penalty. I don’t particularly like it. 

‘I don’t particularly like this hand, I believe his hand was sort of in that position, and the ball has hit it. And then it’s, it’s flailed into an even more natural position. 

‘But that’s the way to the ball. I think, based on the current way, we referee games, I think it’s a penalty, but I suppose it was a fairish result in the end because Westham would really, you know, pushing forward, they were happy with a 0-0. And I think there was only one team wanting at the end.’

West Ham players surrounded the referee after having their spot-kick claims dismissed, with the full-time whistle blowing moments later.

David Moyes was seen in discussion with the officials immediately afterwards where he questioned why his team had been denied what looked like a nailed-on penalty.

West Ham players surrounded the referee after being refused a stoppage time penalty

West Ham players surrounded the referee after being refused a stoppage time penalty

Referee Alejandro Hernandez reviewed the handball on a pitchside monitor during a check that lasted over four minutes

Referee Alejandro Hernandez reviewed the handball on a pitchside monitor during a check that lasted over four minutes

Former Premier League player Steve Sidwell speaking alongside Owen explained that Hammers stars were justifiably ‘furious’.

‘When I first see it in real time, I said penalty straightaway just because the arms in an unnatural position. I know Soucek is just trying to hook the ball on is still gonna be sort of in play if you get to the ball and live in action, but, and the arms are up, I can’t believe that’s not been given West Ham fans and the players will be absolutely furious. 

‘You know, the players, they’re crowding the referee to say, it’d be interesting what the explanation has actually been given. 

‘I mean, it is close proximity to the ball, but it’s still arms above the above the shoulders above the head, it’s an unnatural position for me,’ he added.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *