Why was Germany not given the penalty after Cucurella’s “handball”?

Why was Germany not given the penalty after Cucurella’s “handball”?
Why was Germany not given the penalty after Cucurella’s “handball”?

Jamal Musiala attempted a shot on goal from outside the box that was blocked by Marc Cucurella’s hand.


This Friday, Spain victory to Germany 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the Euro 2024but should the hosts have been awarded a penalty in extra time?

Jamal Musiala He attempted a shot on goal from outside the area that was blocked with the hand of Marc Cucurella

So why the WAS didn’t he call a penalty?


Possible penalty: Cucurella’s handball

What happened: Musiala attempted a shot on goal in extra time in the 105th minute from outside the box, which was blocked by Cucurella. The German players appealed for a penalty for handling the ball, but referee Anthony Taylor dismissed the claims. VAR, under Stuart Attwell, reviewed the possibility of a spot-kick.

VAR Decision: There is no penalty.

VAR Analysis: We have had two situations in successive games against Germany, both with Attwell as VAR. One of them resulted in a penalty, the other did not. What is the difference and why? It is the current situation in modern football. When does the ball hit the arm and when does it not?

Let’s talk about the first one, in the round of 16, when the Dane Joachim Andersen was penalized when the ball touched his arm after a cross from David Raum.

UEFA says that if the arm is in an elevated position (or horizontally) creating a barrier to stop the ball, which cannot be explained by the position of the body, then the referee and/or VAR should recommend a penalty kick. If UEFA did not believe this was a correct decision, Attwell would not be in the video chair for the quarter-final match.

And what about Cucurella?

In his pre-tournament briefing, UEFA’s chief referee Roberto Rosetti gave specific examples of penalties for handball, for and against. Rosetti showed a video of the ball hitting a defender’s arm after a shot on goal. The arm was in a vertical position, close to the body.

Rosetti said: “Not every touch with the arm or hand is a penalty. We want to take into account the movement of the players, the biomechanical movements. You know, this is a clear situation. This is never a penalty.”

The example given is very similar to the Cucurella incident. Although ball-in-hand rules in UEFA competitions are still stricter, there has been an attempt to give defenders at least a little more leeway so that they do not have to put their hand behind their back.

UEFA therefore says that a defender who is standing when the ball hits his arm at or near his side, in an upright position and/or with his arm behind the line of his body, should not be penalised. The fact that Cucurella brought his arm in is a factor, as this is considered to be removing a potential barrier (although he could be considered to be doing so in a deliberate action of handling the ball).

The problem? That the ball hit Andersen’s arm at close range, with minimal contact, as he was running, seems less acceptable than calling a penalty against Cucurella for stopping a shot on goal.

But, whether we like it or not, in both cases the decision was the one UEFA had expected.

 
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