Monday 19 August 2019

Mick McCarthy would urge players to exploit new handball rule


Mick McCarthy. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Mick McCarthy. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
David Kelly

David Kelly

Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has said that he would encourage players to take advantage of new handball rule changes by aiming for defender's arms, in order to win penalties like that achieved by Liverpool's Sadio Mane against Spurs' midfielder Moussa Sissoko in the Champions League final.

Changes to the rule mean that any defender whose arms are away from the body will be penalised if the ball makes contact, regardless of intent.

"I'm not sure he meant it, but that's what happened," said McCarthy. "I do think if players are stood up and they can't go anywhere, they might just kick it up and see what they get. I'd tell them to do it. Of course I would, because they will do it to us. They're trying to sanitise it a bit too much. I didn't think it was a penalty.

"What he was going to do with his arms, put them behind him? That's unnatural. The natural position is more like what he did.

"I'll go back as far as Macedonia and Jason McAteer getting a penalty given against him and I still don't think it was. But I've got over it!

"It's getting to the point where if it hits your hand or arm it's going to be a penalty. But then it'll be a tactic used where players are cute and will chip the ball up at someone's hand.

"If they kick it against their hand, it will be a penalty. That will be so nauseating for everyone who concedes."

The new rules will not apply in Friday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark in Copenhagen as the tournament is ongoing, but will be introduced in the Premier League next season.

Meanwhile, Shane Long, who picked up a hamstring injury in training on Sunday, has been ruled out of Friday's game, but McCarthy has decided not to draft a replacement.

"Well, we've got David McGoldrick and Sean Maguire," said McCarthy.

"Callum Robinson plays up there, we've also got Scott Hogan. I've got plenty to pick, so, losing one, while it's disappointing, it's not the end of the world. It's a blow for him, but not for us. It's probably the strongest selection pool that I've got. Shane has got to have a full pre-season and hopefully come back."

McCarthy is expected to retain an unchanged line-up and said he has already made his selection.

"It's absolutely simple to have a team set in stone and then you want to have options in all the positions, which I have," he added.

Meanwhile, Noel Mooney started work as planned yesterday with the FAI in his role as interim chief, despite the protests of Minister for Sport Shane Ross.

Irish Independent

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