Jets coach Craig Deans crushed by new handball rule

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Newcastle’s coach was left visibly upset after Sunday’s head-to-head clash against Macarthur FC.

The referee allowed a handball in the box as a result of recent changes to the FIFA Laws of the Game.

“I’m not quite sure what the rules are in football anymore,” said Deans.

“I’m not sure what’s a handball and what’s not a handball.” 

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The controversial decision occurred in the 93rd minute of injury time against Bulls defender Aleksandar Susnjar and was overruled because the ball bounced off his boot first before touching his hand.

“If that happened in the middle of the park, that’s a handball. I’m certain he would be blamed for a handball,” said Deans. 

According to the FIFA Laws of the Game, the referee’s decision was fair because Susnjar’s hand did not intentionally move towards the ball:

Law of the Game around handballs

These rules came into effect in June 2019 when the International Football Association Board set out to make clarifications around handballs.

“I find that confusing but it’s the rule and I can’t change that. It cost us a point,” he said. 

“Still we can’t rely on things like that. We had more than enough chances to score. We had the ball in the right areas to create chances but we didn’t take it.”

The overall disappointment was an extension of the club’s third straight loss in the opening rounds of their campaign. 

They again walked off their hometown pitch without nabbing any points, leaving them stuck at the foot of the A-League ladder.

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Deans is already looking ahead to Wednesday night’s encounter with Brisbane Roar. He believes the problem now is keeping the squad’s head above water.

“It’s a little bit of a challenge now to get everyone’s heading the right space for Wednesday but I’m sure the the players will behave, act and react.

“We just need to keep working, stay positive and be honest with ourselves,” said Deans.

 

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Jemma Pepper
Jemma Pepper
Covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2020/21 season. Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (Germany) at the University of Technology Sydney. Seven days without playing football can make one weak!

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