Reece James Handball Has Internet Divided, Should It Have Been A Red Card?

Penalty? Yes. Red card? Depends on who you ask.

Twitter and the internet are in flames right now over the Reece James red card incident against Liverpool during Saturday’s Premier League clash. Some fans are ready to jump through their TV screens and fist-fight referee Anthony Taylor, while others think the correct call was made.

Chelsea was leading 1-0 in what was arguably one of the most exciting games of the season so far. Then, just before halftime all hell broke loose after a Liverpool corner. Taylor would go to the VAR screen and look at one freeze-frame before deciding to send off James.

Mohamed Salah stepped up and buried the penalty to tie the game at 1-1.

The internet reacted vehemently to Taylor’s decision. Some argued that Taylor was out of his mind while others thought the call was spot on.

Here is the official rule from the FA for red card offenses relating to a handball.

“(It’s a red card for) denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a handball offence (except a goalkeeper within their penalty area)”

Intentional or not, by the rulebook a player must be sent off if their handball offense denies a goal. A player can be as guilty as Luis Suarez in the 2010 World Cup batting the ball off the line or as innocent as James who had the ball deflect onto his arm.

Personally, I think it’s a stupid rule, but Taylor followed the rulebook which is what referees are asked to do. 

What do you think? Should it have been a red card?

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