Peterhead have contacted the Scottish FA for clarification on handball after being denied a penalty in their Scottish Cup tie against Raith Rovers.
The Blue Toon were furious that referee Steven Reid failed to award a ninth-minute spot-kick at Stark’s Park when Kirkcaldy defender Kyle Benedictus slid and blocked Ben Armour’s goalbound shot with his left arm.
The photo to the right shows the incident and after seeing it printed in Monday’s Evening Express the Buchan outfit have contacted the SFA’s refereeing department to seek clarity on handball.
The laws surrounding handball were changed for this season following March’s meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in Aberdeen.
As a result a tougher stance is supposed to be taken on accidental handball when a player’s arm makes their body unnaturally bigger or when a goal is scored or prevented as a result of accidental handball.
Following the changes managers were briefed at the start of the season. But Peterhead boss Jim McInally does not feel referees are following the changed laws.
He said: “As a club we’ve contacted the SFA’s refereeing department with the photo from the game to ask for clarification.
“It’s not just what happened to us – you can look at Aberdeen against St Johnstone (Wallace Duffy’s raised arm prevented Curtis Main heading in a second goal for the Dons) on Sunday and they didn’t get a penalty.
“In the meeting managers had with referees at the start of the season we were told that if the ball hit a defensive player’s hand in the box it was a penalty.
“And according to what we were told it didn’t matter whether it was accidental or anything else.
“But that isn’t happening – so I would like clarification on what actually is a penalty.
“Even pundits are struggling with it and saying things like ‘it can’t be a penalty because he didn’t mean it’.
“But we were told by the letter of the law if the ball hit the defender’s hand, whether it was deliberate or otherwise, it was a penalty.
“On Friday in the Scottish Cup when Falkirk played Linlithgow Rose there were a couple of incidents in that game where the ball hit hands.
“From what we were told at the start of the season those incidents should have been given as penalties as well.
“When managers were told the rules nobody liked it – but it’s not even being enforced.”
While handball has been a grey area for many years McInally is in no doubt that Saturday’s incident went against the Blue Toon.
He added: “Look at last season in the Champions League. Manchester United beat Paris Saint-Germain with a penalty as a result of an accidental handball almost nobody had seen.
“The meeting managers had with referees was the first week of the league season and even at the meeting I attended there was debate about a penalty that had been given in one of the games in the first weekend of the season.
“The picture of Saturday’s incident is totally clear and there’s absolutely no getting away from the fact it should have been a penalty.
“So we’d like to know why that didn’t happen.”