“100% it’s not a handball.”

Sporting KC Coach in Shock After VAR Calls Handball


Claire Powell, Editor-in-Chief

On April 27, MLS team Sporting Kansas City ended in a tie against New England Revolution.

Now a lot of things went wrong during the match but one of the most significant was in the 65th minute. After video review, head referee Baldomero Toledo said Johnny Russell committed a handball, awarding New England a penalty kick.

Everyone was livid, including Sporting’s head coach, Peter Vermes.

“It’s not a handball. 100% it’s not a handball. There’s no way,” Vermes told The Blue Testament. “If that’s a handball, then I’m gonna tell you that in every game, I gotta assume in every game there will probably two or three penalty kicks in every game.”

Vermes went on to say that Russell’s arms were at his side and there was nothing he could do when the ball hit him the upper arm.

According to The International Football Association Laws of the Game, they say a handball needs to consider the movement of the hand towards the ball, the distance between the opponent and the ball, and the position of the hand. All of which fans are believing Toledo did not take in mind.

Vermes urges FIFA, PRO, and the league to clarify the rules of what is and what isn’t a handball.

“I don’t even understand how you can even think [it’s a handball]… and I’ve been doing this a long time,” Vermes said. “I know it’s a judgment call. That’s where the issue is.”