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Handball in Germany’s European Championship exit: Experts disagree

Handball in Germany’s European Championship exit: Experts disagree
Handball in Germany’s European Championship exit: Experts disagree

Handball or not? After Germany’s European Championship exit, a scene from the defeat against Spain is being discussed – even experts are divided.

After Germany’s European Championship exit against Spain in the quarter-finals, former international players Michael Ballack, Shkodran Mustafi, presenter Johannes B. Kerner and referee Patrick Ittrich had a verbal argument on the streaming service MagentaTV for several minutes over a controversial scene in extra time. Marc Cucurella was hit on the arm by a shot from Jamal Musiala in the penalty area, but the English referee Anthony Taylor did not award a penalty.

Handball Germany vs Spain

Ballack rages over handball

“There is no clearer handball in football,” said an angry Ballack. “That is a clear wrong decision.” He did not know whether Taylor and his team had decided against a penalty “out of fear or respect.” It remained unclear whether Niclas Füllkrug would not have been offside anyway when he made the pass to Musiala.

“The situation is indeed such that the referee must make an objective and unemotional decision,” said Bundesliga referee Ittrich. “You have to analyse it in terms of the rules: What is the player doing from the referee’s point of view? The player pulls his hand back from the path of the shot during the shot.” This is also why the video referee (VAR) did not intervene decisively. The expert spoke of a “handball dilemma”. There is “a margin of discretion in football”.

Ballack and Mustafi did not want to accept that. “It doesn’t matter if he tries to pull his hand away, he’s in the way,” said Mustafi. Ballack said: “It’s a shot on goal, he blocks it with his hand outstretched. What else would you give a penalty for?” Kerner also repeatedly joined in the discussion.

VAR not an option in this case

“If you whistle for it, you can say that’s right, you can give it. That’s the discretionary dilemma with the handball rule,” said Ittrich. “I’m not that far from you, I just said that the video assistant can’t go in there.” The video assistant has to “provide images” that convince the referee “of what he saw, or not.”

On ARD, former referee Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb said: “The shot comes from a short distance and is incredibly sharp. Is it an unnatural enlargement of the body surface – yes or no? The referee decided that it was a relatively natural movement.” The video assistant could not support it “because it is not a crystal clear wrong decision.” She could “understand it, but believe that a different decision would have been possible,” said Steinhaus-Webb.

Source: Stern

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