'If that's handball we may as well pack it in' - Newcastle boss Bruce wants rule change despite winning penalty at Tottenham

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Steve Bruce Newcastle 2019-20
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The Magpies head coach should have been delighted at his side snatching a late point, but instead joined the chorus of criticism

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has insisted that the new handball rule is “ludicrous” despite his side directly benefiting against Tottenham on Sunday, saying that Premier League managers should come together to push for a change.

Bruce’s side were awarded a controversial stoppage-time penalty via a VAR check at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with replays showing the ball striking Eric Dier’s arm as he jumped for a header.

The contact was clearly accidental and Dier was facing away from the ball when it struck his arm, but the new rules still deem that to be an offence.

Callum Wilson converted the penalty to snatch an unlikely draw for Newcastle, who had failed to muster a shot on target up to that point.

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Despite being on the right end of the decision, Bruce did not hold back in his criticism of the new handball rule, which has been widely condemned by former players and pundits.

“If you’re going to tell me that that is handball then we all may as well pack it in,” he told BeIN Sports. "It’s a nonsense of rule.

"It’s gone for us today which I’m delighted [with]. However, it’s ludicrous. Handball should be deliberate handball.

“In the Premier League we seem to taking everything for the letter of the law. In the Championship, for example, there’s no VAR so that wouldn’t have been given today.

“Is it the same in SpainItalyGermany? Some countries can’t afford VAR so they can’t be.

“This new ruling, I don’t know who makes them and who is responsible but we have to ask them the question.

“It is ruining the spectacle of what we have watched for many, many years."

Callum Wilson Newcastle 2020

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson was also critical of the rule when his side conceded a penalty against Everton on Saturday.

Hodgson said managers should come together to challenge the authorities over the ruling, something Bruce agrees with.

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"I can understand why Spurs will go berserk and Roy Hodgson reacted like he did,” he told Sky Sports.

“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.”

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