Former Premier League referee backs penalty decision at Tottenham

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher, speaking on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch, agreed with the decision to hand Spurs their all-important penalty against Burnley on Sunday.

By Chris Boden
Monday, 16th May 2022, 12:00 pm

The Clarets were incensed by the intervantion of VAR and subsequent award of a spot kick from referee Kevin Friend, after Davinson Sanchez’s flick struck Ashley Barnes’ outstretched arm in the box.

Harry Kane took the penalty, after nigh on six minutes delay, and scored the only goal of the game.

But a number of mitigating factors were seemingly not looked at, with Barnes pulled by Sanchez seconds earlier, whether the touch off Barnes altered the flight of the ball significantly, and the distance between Sanchez and Barnes.

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (R) scores the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on May 15, 2022. - - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

However, Gallagher insists it was the letter of the law: "I was watching the game, when it occurred, I never gave it a second thought, the minute I saw one replay I said 'this will be a penalty', we've seen it all season, we might not like it, certainly teams don't like it when they're on the receiving end of it, but any player who puts his arm out like that, that high, and it strikes it, it's been a penalty all season.

"It strikes the arm, and it is clear and obvious, his arm is outstretched like that.

"Handballs are slightly different to fouls, a foul is a judgement decision, but handball is factual.

"The first question negates the second, if the arm is out like that and it hits it, which I think it does, the directives this season are if the arm is shoulder height or above and it strikes the arm, away from the body, which it did, a penalty is going to be given.”