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What the rules say about the controversial FA Cup Final decisions

What the rules say about the controversial FA Cup Final decisions

VAR causes controversy again

Ah VAR.

Brought into English football at the beginning of the 2019/20 season, it has proved to be a point of controversy every day since, with many fans suggesting a “bias” against their club if a decision or multiple decisions don’t go their way. The FA cup final was no different, with Chelsea fans quick to pick up on two decisions that ultimately consigned Thomas Tuchel’s side to defeat in a second FA Cup final running.

A 30 yard strike from Youri Tielemans was the only goal in a tight affair at Wembley, but Chelsea fans immediately raised questions over a potential handball in the build-up by Ayoze Perez, with replays showing that the ball had hit his knee and bounced up onto his arm.

What the rulebook says:

According to the FA laws of the game handbook, handball is given if “after the ball has touched their or a team-mates hand/arm, even if accidental, [a side] immediately”:

“Scores in the opponent’s goal”  

or

“creates a goalscoring opportunity”.

The laws continue:

“Except for the above offences, it is not an offence if the ball touches a players hand/arm”:

“Directly from the players own head or body (including the foot)”

With seven seconds between Tielemans’ strike and the potential offence, it is clear to see why Chelsea fans feel aggrieved at the decision, as whilst it would not have been a handball if nothing had come of the play, due to the fact that Leicester City had scored, the goal should, unfortunately, have been disallowed as per the official rules.

There is, in fact, previous evidence of this rule being implemented. A stoppage-time equaliser in a game between West Ham United and Sheffield United was ruled out in the 2019/20 season due to the ball hitting Declan Rice’s hand 30 yards from goal before he set up the equaliser.

The only slight, and perhaps significant, difference in this example is that Rice provided the assist for the equaliser, whilst Perez’s handball allowed the ball to drop to a Leicester player, who subsequently provided the assist.

Equaliser ruled out:

It appeared as if Chelsea had rescued the situation in the dying embers of the game, as a combination of full-back Ben Chillwell and Leicester defender Wes Morgan bundling the ball into the Leicester net. VAR once again intervened, however, concluding that Chilwell had strayed fractionally offside in the build-up to the goal, and breaking Chelsea hearts.

Some Chelsea fans chose to hardly celebrate the goal at all, certain that VAR would yet play a part in breaking hearts in Wembley and across West London.

Whilst others pointed out the inconsistency in VAR, not intervening in the Leicester goal but ruling out Chelsea’s.

As the dust settled, more controversy emerged, as it appeared that VAR used a frame when the ball had already left Thiago Silva’s foot before adjudging Chilwell offside.

Whether he would have been found on or offside (likely still the latter) one frame earlier, it demonstrated the glaring flaw in the technology, which cannot keep up with the play. Judging such minute decisions, as a result, can never be definitive, and is certainly no way to have a heart broken in an FA Cup final.

 

Read more:

‘It’s not offside’ – Ryan Mason slams VAR over disallowed Harry Kane strike vs Leeds

“Arsenal win this game with a different VAR” The offside decisions in the Everton loss explained


Chelsea betting odds, next game:

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Full time result
Chelsea
2/7
Draw
19/4
Crystal Palace
8/1
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Result/Both teams score Yes No
Chelsea 2/1 21/20
Crystal Palace 14/1
Draw 13/2 14/1
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Correct Score
Chelsea
Crystal Palace

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Premier League table
# Team MP D P
1 Arsenal London 0 0 0
2 Aston Villa 0 0 0
3 Brentford London 0 0 0
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 0 0
5 Burnley FC 0 0 0
6 Chelsea London 0 0 0
7 Crystal Palace 0 0 0
8 Everton FC 0 0 0
9 Leeds United 0 0 0
10 Leicester City 0 0 0
11 Liverpool FC 0 0 0
12 Manchester City 0 0 0
13 Manchester United 0 0 0
14 Newcastle United 0 0 0
15 Norwich City 0 0 0
16 Southampton FC 0 0 0
17 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0 0
18 Watford FC 0 0 0
19 West Ham United 0 0 0
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0 0
Topscorers
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Assists
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