Football

Steve Bruce slams ‘nonsense’ handball decision that went his way

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce slammed changes to the handball rule this season, despite his side profiting from it to grab a late 1-1 draw away to Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.

Another controversial handball call in the English Premier League over the weekend allowed the Magpies to score a stoppage-time penalty via Callum Wilson and salvage a point.

Spurs had led through a 25th-minute Lucas Moura goal and Newcastle had not managed a shot on target but, deep into injury time, Newcastle's Andy Carroll and Eric Dier challenged for a ball and the forward's header brushed the arm of the Spurs defender.

A video assistant referee review led referee Peter Bankes to point to the spot.

The incident followed similar key handball decisions in Manchester United's win at Brighton & Hove Albion and Everton's victory at Crystal Palace last Saturday. Palace boss Roy Hodgson said the spate of penalties being awarded for contentious handball calls was "ruining" football.

Bruce told Sky Sports: "I can understand why Spurs will go berserk and Roy Hodgson reacted like he did. It is a total nonsense, we should be jumping through hoops but I would be devastated if that was us. Maybe Roy is right, maybe we all need to get together.

"The decisions are ruining the spectacle. We have to get together as managers and say this must stop."

His opposite number Jose Mourinho refused to comment, suggesting he would be fined if he spoke his mind. Said the Spurs boss: "If I want to give some money away, I give it to charities, not the FA. So I prefer not to comment."

Football