Eric Dier has urged football’s lawmakers to get a grip on the “massive problem” around the handball rule after falling victim to a harsh call in Tottenham’s draw with Newcastle United.
The Spurs defender was penalised when Andy Carroll’s header struck the back of his arm inside the box in the dying moments of Sunday’s contest at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Referee Peter Bankes’ decision to give the spot-kick after checking the monitor allowed Callum Wilson to convert a last-gasp leveller from 12 yards, with Spurs boss Jose Mourinho storming off down the tunnel before the final whistle.
It followed a similar incident in Crystal Palace’s loss to Everton that left Roy Hodgson bemused, suggesting the game was being ruined by such decisions.
Even Newcastle boss Steve Bruce admitted it was a somewhat farcical situation, and Dier wants something done about it.
FULL-TIME: A stoppage-time equaliser for the visitors sees the points shared at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 27, 2020
“Everyone is on the same page, something has to change,” he told the BBC’s Football Focus.
“In my case, if you look at it as a whole, the foul leading up to the free-kick, the distance between me and Andy Carroll, the fact that I get pushed in my back which people are not really talking about.
“The push in my back is what makes my arm go up, that is a completely natural reaction and if someone does touch you like that, your normal reaction is to go like that.
“Even without the push, he is less than a metre behind me and I don’t really know what more you can do.
“You cannot jump without your hands, you cannot defend without using your arms to balance and move so it is what it is.”
Asked what he made of Bruce’s comments, Dier added: “That pretty much sums it up. I don’t really know what I can possibly add to it. In football, for everyone to have the same opinion is very rare. That seems to be the case [here].
“It is a massive problem, not just mine – there were many last weekend.”