PSG vs Newcastle: UEFA handball rule explained and why Tino Livramento incident could force some changes

Newcastle fans don't want to hear it but the penalty was the correct decision from veteran referee Szymon Marciniak, as the rule is currently written.

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Abishek Goswami
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PSG vs Newcastle: UEFA handball rule explained and why Tino Livramento incident could force some changes

Tino Livramento's handball during the PSG vs Newcastle match Getty Images

Alexander Isak's 24th-minute goal for Newcastle would be enough to snatch all three points but the controversial penalty gave away PSG one important point. PSG stayed at the 2nd spot of the table with 7 points while Newcastle are struggling at the third spot with 5 points after Gameweek 5.

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Tino Livramento Handball incident

With Newcastle leading 1-0 in the 98th minute of play, PSG were pushing for a late equalising goal. Ousmane Dembele was in the penalty area and was forced to stretch out his right leg to collect the pass. As the ball came off his outstretched foot, it popped into the air and into the chest of Tino Livramento, then deflected off the Livra's chest and into his arm.

No penalty was awarded on-field by Polish referee Szymon Marciniak, but VAR official Tomasz Kwiatkowski recommended an on-field review for a possible penalty. Marciniak reviewed the incident on-screen and decided to award a penalty. It clearly showed that the ball came off Tino Livramento's chest before hitting his hand. Kylian Mbappe buried to even the score 1-1 in the 98th minute of the thrilling fixture.

Was the penalty the correct decision in PSG vs Newcastle?

Tino Livramento's handball during the PSG vs Newcastle match
Tino Livramento's handball during the PSG vs Newcastle match

Neither intent nor advantage gained are considered a factor when adjudicating handball decisions under the current rule, and therefore the decision was made that such a deflection was the proper call.

"It is a penalty, under the current interpretations of the rule," explained CBS Sports rules expert Christina Unkel on the postgame show. "An extended left arm that essentially creates a barrier, once that left arm is out, even though there is a deflection that no longer is part of the interpretation and analysis but since it's a barrier preventing that ball from crossing in, this is an expected VAR recommendation for a handling offense that the referee is not able to see from his angle and positioning," she explained.

"IFAB should make some changes to the handball rule," Christina Unkel on the postgame show at CBS Sports

The decision to award PSG a penalty was the correct application of the current handball law. But the football community considers this decision to be extremely harsh.

CBS rules analyst Christina Unkel explained exactly how IFAB could look to rewrite or reinterpret the rule to avoid situations like this in the future.

"I don't like the current interpretation in how we are required to apply it right now," Unkel said. "The football advisory board has specifically said in March they will provide another clarification because we have gone too objective with the handling offense and it creates harsh decisions such as this one."

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