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Wolves boss Nuno welcomes decision to ask rulers to scrap handball rule

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has welcomed the League Managers’ Association’s decision to challenge football’s rule makers to scrap the controversial handball law for next season.

The LMA has written to the International Football Associations Board to ask for the non-intentional handball law to be altered for next season, following consultations with Premier League managers.

The new rule on handball was introduced with VAR this season, but has left managers, players and supporters exasperated.

The IFAB board hold their AGM on February 29 when it’s understood the matter will be high on the agenda.

No changes to rules are allowed during the season, but the matter can be debated and alterations can be made in time for the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

The LMA, through their technical manager John Duncan, have been encouraged from early dialogue that there might be the opportunity to change the rule.

Wolves are one of the clubs most affected by the new rule.

They have had goals disallowed for unintentional handball against Leicester City, Southampton and two against Manchester United in the FA Cup third round.

Willy Boly was ruled to have handled in the build-up to Leander Dendoncker’s effort at the King Power Stadium, Raul Jimenez had an effort chalked off against the Saints, Matt Doherty’s header hit his hand in the first tie against United and in the replay, Pedro Neto’s strike was ruled out for a handball against Jimenez when Harry Maguire’s challenge saw the ball hit his hand from point-blank range.

Other examples have been Gabriel Jesus for Manchester City against Tottenham in August and Robert Snodgrass for West Ham away to Sheffield United recently.

For sure, yes, there’s going to be a review,” said Nuno. “I’m encouraged by everyone involved – the managers, the players, the fans, press – everybody is seeing that it’s not OK.

If it’s not OK, we have to take different measures and change it.

The rule is the rule, so let’s not be mistaken but it has to change and it will change, for sure.

I think the reaction of everyone involved, and also the reaction of the fans…it’s mandatory that they have to review and take a different approach. Let’s wait and see.

I think in time, things will happen. The message is so loud and clear – you see all over stadiums and it’s not good.

The fans are the most important things in football. The fans see what makes sense.

The fans are not happy – that’s a bad sign.

It’s not only me, everybody speaks about it. But of course we have suffered more because all the decisions have been against us. It’s too much.”