Howard Webb speaks on John Egan handball incident

The PGMOL chief, Howard Webb has had his say on the penalty incident that gave Manchester City a penalty against Sheffield United.

Sheffield United defended the reigning champions excellently in the first half, but the Citizens were given the opportunity to open the scoring from the penalty spot after John Egan was penalised for a handball offence.

Here is what Webb had to say about this decision on Sky Sports:

The arm of John Egan is pretty significantly away from his body. He’s looking to block the ball with his legs, his body, his head. But to do that action the arm has to come away from his body. And it comes away significantly.”

But this is where the rules infuriate football fans. John Egan was penalised against Manchester City for the exact same action that Luton Town were denied a penalty for against West Ham United, when the ball struck James Ward-Prowse.

If you take a look at the John Egan incident above, yes his arm is extended away from his body. However, like Howard Webb said, the arm has to go into that position in order for him to make an attempt to block the ball. So, after listening to what the PGMOL chief has said, why should this incident result in a penalty? He explained the interpretation of the rule, but the interpretation of the rule doesn’t take into account common sense.

When you look at the Ward-Prowse incident above, what’s the difference? His arm is also extended significantly away from his body. Egan uses his arm to assist his landing on the slide tackle. While Ward-Prowse uses his arm to assist his jump.

Either they both aren’t a penalty, or, they’re both a penalty. Another season – another season of inconsistent refereeing decisions across the country.



Tags John Egan Luton Town Manchester City Referees Sheffield United West Ham