Image that proves football is officially broken
Football fans are up in arms about, well, arms.
A couple of controversial decisions in the English Premier League on the weekend have sparked outrage as video review system VAR comes under heavy fire for ruining the sport.
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Leeds were robbed of a goal during their 4-1 loss to Crystal Palace when, thinking he'd equalised at 1-1, Patrick Bamford was deemed to be offside.
His feet and body were clearly behind the last defender as he latched onto a through-ball on the edge of the box, but an outstretched arm was enough for the referee to save Crystal Palace's bacon.
A new rule implemented before the season that makes it legal for players to score with the upper part of their arm is why Bamford was dudded.
Australian football presenter Adam Peacock tweeted "Ffs change the law. Feet only", while Bamford teed off after the game.
"I don't understand the rule," Bamford told the BBC. "You can't score with your arm. It doesn't make sense. It's happened with me today but I've seen it on numerous occasions.
"It's ruining football. You want to see goals. To have it ruled out for something like that is daft.
"Even the referee couldn't make sense of it. When the players and the officials can't make sense of it … does it make sense?"
Former Premier League star turned pundit Robbie Savage was scathing of the call.
"His body is onside, he's leaning forward and pointing to where he wants the ball," Savage told BT Sport. "The line has been drawn on his arm, where it's not handball, on his sleeve, that's what they're saying is offside.
"That is quite incredible. That is the most unbelievable one I think we've ever seen. Wow.
"That is the worst I've ever seen. That is the worst (decision) I've ever seen in the history of football."
There was more controversy in Manchester City's 1-1 draw with Liverpool this morning (AEDT) when Reds star Joe Gomez conceded a penalty for handball despite most judges agreeing he didn't have time to get out of the way of Kevin De Bruyne's cross.
Gomez actually tried to move his arm to avoid contact but he was too close to De Bruyne and the cross was too quick for him to disappear in time.
After using VAR to double check the incident, the referee pointed to the spot.
Manchester United legend Gary Neville told Sky Sports "in the real world that's not a penalty" and "the whole thing is a nonsense", while Liverpool champion Jamie Carragher was also furious.
"If you're a defender now I don't know what you're supposed to do," he said.
"We're asking defenders to run along with their arms behind your back, that's what we're getting to. How can you defend?"
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Wolverhampton's Max Kilman was also the victim of a recent controversial handball call, giving away a penalty in his side's 1-0 defeat to Leicester in similar circumstances to Gomez, with many again believing he had no chance of getting his hand out of the way in time.
Wolves coach Nuno Santo said the VAR is not delivering consistency and "until they get it right, we'll be talking about it over and over again - something we don't want".
UK sports writer Paul Hayward tweeted: "The Premier League is such a good spectacle, you'd need an ingenious plan to mess it up. It's not easy to spoil something so good. But they've managed it, by punishing people for having arms (Bamford, Gomez).
"Handball law needs stripping back to something like the old definition and VAR needs to stop meddling in offside calls, unless they can find a sensible definition (ie not bits of the arm)?"
On the Bamford decision, Hayward wrote: "Punished for pointing. Don't we have freedom of expression?
"VAR's obsession with arms (handballs, offsides) is becoming weird."
Originally published as Image proves football is officially broken