Former top flight referee Dermot Gallagher has sparked controversy by saying that Arsenal and Laurent Koscielny’s controversial late winner against Burnley on Sunday was rightly allowed to stand.
The Frenchman literally ‘handed’ the Gunners all three points in the dying moments of stoppage time when he appeared to bundle the ball over the line with his arm, via a deflection, to earn his side a desperately late 1-0 win.
It seemed everyone bar the officials saw the incident, with the Turf Moor crowd clearly outraged that the goal was allowed to stand, however, Gallagher – despite the controversy surrounding the decision – has insisted the referee was right to allow the goal to stand.
Koscielny: "I don't know if I touched the ball with my hand. But the ref gave us the goal and you have to respect the decision." pic.twitter.com/vPO77xbJmf
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) October 2, 2016
“It struck him and we are stuck with the rule where it has to be deliberate,” Gallagher told Sky Sports.
“People said his arms were up but that’s because he used his arms for elevation. He has actually miskicked it, it has flown up and hit him, so it’s not hand to ball, it’s ball to hand. There is nothing wrong in the law with what happened.”
The incident will once again kick-start the heated debate over the official rule of handball, with many professionals, pundits and referees alike seemingly unable to reach a consensus as to what and what does not constitute handball, both in or outside of the box.
Arsenal have now moved up to third in the Premier League as they recorded their fifth consecutive win in all competitions.