Date: 12th November 2018 at 7:52am
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Rotherham United were recently on the ‘good end’ of a penalty decision when Swansea’s Leroy Fer put his hands up in the penalty area, appearing to be covering his face, which the incoming ball from Will Vaulks hit and the referee Tony Harrington immediately pointed to the spot.

There will be some that say it wasn’t a deliberate handball and others that say if your hands are up there and the ball hits them it has to be a penalty.

It is that one word ‘deliberate’ that the International FA Board are going to be looking to change when they next meet. After all what is ‘deliberate’ handball anyway?

Well, in my mind, it’s when a player actually puts his hands towards the ball to try to gain advantage for his own team – whether that’s stopping it during an opponents move or stopping it to deflect it towards one of his own team mates. Of course that also works the other way if a player moves his hand towards the ball to deflect it into the net when the goal should not be given.

Personally, I think handball should only mean ‘the hand’ too and not arm, shoulder, elbow etc.

The more important rule the International FA Board will be looking to change regards penalties.

At the moment you take a penalty and if the ‘keeper manages to punch it away from goal and it goes to a player on the opposite side and he puts it in the net then it stands as a goal.

Well, probably not for much longer.

The Telegraph Sport tells us that the people who make the rules are thinking of having what could be called a ‘one shot’ penalty. Which means if the kick is pushed away by the ‘keeper or comes back off the woodwork it’s then a dead ball. I presume it would then be a goal kick.

Something else the powers-who-be are thinking of discussing is not allowing substitutions once the board has gone up at the end of a game displaying how many minutes of time added on there is to be. That, they say, will avoid time-wasting. (Actually, I can see a point in that one).

Well, with all these rules to be mulled over the one I feel they should be sorting out before any of these is ‘offside’. I’m in the mind that if you are in an offside position then you are actually offside whether you are going for the ball, whether it’s from a free-kick, throw-in or whatever. Sort that one out and the officials might take less abuse about it from the stands.

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