The 2020/21 season of the Premier League has been full of twists, turns, and changes to the established norm in its opening weeks. One such change is a series of amendments to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) handball rules which have sparked a stream of controversy throughout the sport.
The changes by the IFAB include amendments that mean a player will be penalised if a ball touches a player’s hand or arm and it is judged to have made their body unnaturally bigger or if the player’s hand or arm is above or beyond their shoulder level.
YouGov Sport asked the fans, are these amendments fair? The answer is clear, with two thirds (66%) of Premier League fans overall saying the rules changes are unfair, and only 27% saying they are just.
Nearly two fifths (39%) of fans say the amendments, which cost Tottenham two points in their game against Newcastle, are not fair at all. Around a quarter (27%) describe the amendments as somewhat unfair.
The rule changes have caused outcry even from teams who have benefited from the change so far. Newcastle boss Steve Bruce described the rule changes as “nonsense” even after the penalty his side won meant they went home with a draw.
Only 8% of fans think the amendments YouGov Sport asked about are very fair changes, with a further 19% saying they are somewhat fair.