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Nuno: More handball rule changes just lead to confusion

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Clive Brunskill)

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo believes further change to the handball rule can only lead to more confusion.

The International Football Association Board, the game’s lawmakers, have agreed to relax the controversial handball law.

Currently, a player who was adjudged to have accidentally handled the ball in the build-up to a goal would be penalised and any goal disallowed.

Wolves were the first Premier League side to fall victim to the last rule change in 2019 when Leander Dendoncker had a goal ruled out in a 0-0 draw at Leicester after the ball hit Willy Boly’s arm.

The rule change will come into effect on July 1 – although leagues can introduce it before – but Nuno believes it may only cause more problems.

“I was surprised. The first thing which comes to my mind is good,” he said. “But (if it happens) in the middle of the competition all the voices are going to be raised ‘what about that or that?’

“We will adapt, the players will struggle once again because there will be doubts and no assurances of exactly what is a handball is now. Confusion.”

Wolves go to Aston Villa on Saturday sitting 12th in the Premier League with their hosts five points and three places ahead of them in the table.

“It’s clear improvement of their squad, it’s evident. This proves what you did good in the past you cannot rely on and there is always a space for improvement,” said Nuno. “There is a clear improvement from them.”

Raul Jimenez remains in non-contract training as he continues to recover from the fractured skull he suffered in November while Daniel Podence and Marcal (groin) are out.

“He (Jimenez) is doing well and improving. He has been able to join parts of the training sessions and we expect him to progress with his fitness,” he said.

“He is feeling well and happy but we have to take the same measures and protocols we always do, we follow the protocols and we will be guided by that.

“It’s a very delicate situation and we cannot afford any kind of mistake.”