If Celtic Force A Change To The Handball Rule, We Blunt A Key Weapon Against Us.

Image for If Celtic Force A Change To The Handball Rule, We Blunt A Key Weapon Against Us.

The writers at The Athletic claim that Celtic’s anger over the handball calls which have blighted recent games has led to the handball rule itself being made the subject of the next Professional Game Board meeting at the SFA.

This is welcome news.

What this rule needs is some clear-cut language and not so much left to “interpretation.” What I would prefer, and I suspect I’m not alone, is that any touch of the ball by a player’s hand results in a penalty, that way the only thing VAR has to decide on and the only thing that refs have to “interpret” is footage that should settle the matter one way or another.

It’s this “referee’s interpretation” nonsense which has caused the problems. When refs are allowed to “interpret” these things that does, I’m afraid, allow the possibility that bias will sway that view and to be frank I’m sick and tired of having this debate with people who want to deny basic human nature and how we all know that it works.

This should be dead simple, so simple that even our “confused” – yes, that’s the latest excuse being thrown about, that officials are “confused” by the current rules – officials, who are amongst the worst in the business, can understand them just fine.

I’m really tired of all this “cry me a river for refs” nonsense, and I particularly balk at the idea that we should have “full time referees” on big salaries. That would have to come with serious reform and we all know what part one of that would have to be; declare your allegiances like they do in other leagues with full time officials.

Celtic has moved the agenda, which is presumably why so many of the goon squad are wetting their pants in public and throwing tantrums. We must be keep our foot down on this and not stop.

This is not just necessary, it’s well overdue.

Share this article


  • Tony B says:

    The panic amongst the brithers and their acolytes and apologists in the meedja is good to see and not before time. It shows that they have something to hide.

    Change must come and that only by constant pressure on them.

    We never stop, and we must never let them off the hook.

  • Nick66 says:

    James, just finished reading the excellent article on bias by Ralph at Etims. Well worth a read if not done so already.

  • John says:

    James, the problem is, will the rest vote for it?

  • Benjamin says:

    Changing the handball rule isn’t going to solve anything. The rule has been tweaked every few years, and there’s ALWAYS been an element of subjectivity to it. Intentional handball has always been a foul, but unintentional handball has always been a rats nest of complicated decision trees and referee discretion, and that’s not going to change unless IFAB decrees that every handball is an offense in all situations. The issue in Scotland has always been the men in black, and raising this issue up to IFAB will inevitably lead to more scrutiny of some of our more “creative” officials.

  • SSMPM says:

    I don’t know why you would balk at professional full time refs as it would have to be as a part of serious reform. That’s exactly what we need – serious reform. Keep this pressure up and if no joy then stop funding VAR as it only aids the corrupt in our society.
    A big result today will underline we are the champions elect, with a 12 point lead, in spite of corrupt SFA officials. C’mon a Hoops.

  • Sid says:

    Exactly, interpretation is everything and these referee’s are trained, yes trained with a pro Sevco anti Celtic bias. It’s the system that is corrupt and reeking.
    Getting referee’s to admit their allegiances will not be nearly enough. The culture won’t change, the media won’t change the SFA won’t change.
    The only thing that will make a significant difference will be officials from outwith Scotland and a performance based hierarchy judged again from outside Scotland. It’s structural and cultural ! This will cost much so will never happen. The only thing we can do in the meantime is document all the decisions until we have such a watertight case that UEFA have to act. We have to hope that every time they cheat they tighten the noose on themselves. Celtic just have to keep improving meanwhile so we can still win despite the cheating.

  • SSMPM says:

    A common question that the hun supporters and journos keep bring up to somehow justify their position on refs. If there’s cheating then how come Celtic have won so many trophies over recent years?

    Answer – because Rangers were caught cheating and were liquidated as a result of said blatant cheating. Remember.
    History is the best predictor of the future and in their DNA.

    Orangemen, like the Blob, everywhere will be worrying where this is going and in particular the impact on their newish, son of Frankenstein, club.

  • Joe coyle says:

    Would the SFA be ok with a referee from cork / dublin if Republic or Ireland played Scotland….I think not…..Celtic and her fans only want the same standards applied to the officials at Celtic matches

Comments are closed.