Jose Mourinho has scoffed at the idea of football’s controversial handball rule being changed to allow referees to take a subjective view of incidents.
Tottenham boss Mourinho was furious when Newcastle United were awarded a stoppage-time penalty against his team last Sunday, with Eric Dier having his back turned when Andy Carroll’s header struck him on the arm.
Referee Peter Bankes gave the spot-kick following a VAR check and after consulting a pitchside monitor, with Dier the latest player to suffer under the handball rule amendments introduced to the Premier League this season. Newcastle capitalised to snatch a 1-1 draw.
The rules now dictate that players will be penalised when defending if the ball strikes them on a hand or arm that is away from the body or raised. If the ball hits a player below the bottom of the armpit in such circumstances, then the updated rules say that is a handball offence, regardless of intent.
Premier League clubs are said to have banded together to ask the organisation that supplies referees – Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) – to look again at how it interprets handball decisions, reportedly suggesting they are encouraged to take a more subjective view.
But Mourinho has frowned at that and would seemingly rather have a cast-iron rule, saying: “I don’t like subjectivity in football because subjectivity normally goes to a certain side.
“To be honest, the emails that were sent making comments about the previous penalties and the possible subjectivity coming, I didn’t read them and I’m not interested in reading about them. I prefer not to.”
First hat-trick of 2020/21:
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 2, 2020
Mourinho, whose Spurs team visit his former club Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, dismissed the idea he would be heading back to Old Trafford looking for revenge for his December 2018 sacking.
“What’s that – revenge in football?” he said. “I won so many times at Old Trafford as a Man United coach and as an opponent coach.
“Revenge for what? Nobody treated me badly there. Everybody was so nice to me during my time there. I don’t have enemies there. I don’t have bad feelings.”
Having suggested striker Son Heung-min faced a lengthy absence with a hamstring strain sustained against Newcastle, Mourinho changed his tune slightly
“I don’t want to lie to you and to say he doesn’t play and then on Sunday he’s there,” Mourinho said. “At the same time I don’t want to say he’s going to play because maybe he doesn’t. Let’s wait a little bit. At this moment I honestly don’t know.”
Tottenham have had a heady week, with the Newcastle game followed on Tuesday by an EFL Cup victory on penalties against Chelsea. On Thursday, they won 7-2 against Maccabi Haifa in their Europa League play-off, helped by a Harry Kane hat-trick.
“I don’t want to moan,” Mourinho said. “I’m on with real things in my hands and I don’t think anybody disagreed with me when I was moaning, even complaining, about the situation.
“But now there’s only one more match [before the international break] – there’s only the United match and no excuses.
“They had only one match for the week. Probably the majority of the players that played [for United on Wednesday at Brighton] are not going to play on Sunday, but I won’t forget that. We go there and we go there to discuss the game.”