Liverpool Supporters Scratching Their Heads Over IFAB Rule That Confounds Alexis Mac Allister’s Handball Ruling

Liverpool fans found themselves in a state of bewilderment as they grappled with a perplexing handball decision that led to the disallowance of their last-minute equalizer in a heart-wrenching 3-2 loss to Toulouse.

After a lackluster performance on French soil left them trailing 3-1, the Reds made a spirited late comeback with Diogo Jota and Jarell Quansah both finding the back of the net. Quansah, a promising 20-year-old talent, believed he had secured the equalizing goal deep into the seventh minute of stoppage time.

In a bewildering twist of events, the referee initially seemed to signal the goal’s approval but then took a detour to the VAR screen, ultimately ruling out the goal due to a perceived handball by Alexis Mac Allister. Toulouse players had vocally protested at the time, claiming the ball had bounced off Mac Allister’s chest and onto his arm during the build-up.

Liverpool supporters were left scratching their heads over the decision, particularly as Sky Sports pointed out that according to IFAB laws, an “accidental handball that leads to a team-mate scoring a goal or having a goal-scoring opportunity will no longer be considered an offence.”

Intriguingly, there were several additional touches in the sequence of play before Quansah’s decisive strike. Adding to the confusion, UEFA’s website featured guidelines for the 2023/24 campaign, asserting that “no handball offence should be called on a player if the ball is previously deflected from his own body and, in particular, when the ball does not go towards the goal.”

However, Dale Johnson of ESPN introduced yet another layer of bewilderment by suggesting that UEFA’s stance on handball differs from that of IFAB. Despite branding it a “terrible VAR decision,” Johnson explained that in UEFA competitions, goals are disallowed for “any handball in the attack phase.”

Following the disallowed goal, Liverpool endured their first defeat in the Europa League this season, prompting an animated response from manager Jurgen Klopp directed at the referee after the final whistle.

The Reds will aim to regroup and recover as they prepare to face Brentford at Anfield on the upcoming Sunday.