FA Explain Liverpool’s First Penalty: Leeds Team “Not Premier League Players” – by Rob Atkinson

The FA, after a short session of head-scratching, have responded to accusations that Liverpool’s first penalty award against Leeds United at Anfield yesterday was in direct contravention of the latest guidance on handball via deflection. The relevant passage, shown below, appears to state unequivocally that, when the ball touches a player’s arm or hand directly from another part of their body, a penalty will not be given.

Well, it SEEMS clear enough…

In the Liverpool v Leeds United game on Saturday, however, when the ball deflected upwards from Robin Koch’s leg onto his arm, referee Michael Oliver almost spat his whistle out in his eagerness to blow for a spot kick after only four minutes. From that moment onwards, United were on the back foot, eventually losing by the odd goal in seven, despite coming back from behind three times.

Even Liverpool stalwart turned Sky pundit Jamie Carragher bemoaned the rank unfairness of that early penalty, making particular reference to the fact that VAR failed to overturn the decision, despite the obvious deflection before the ball struck Koch’s arm. Given the clear and undeniable nature of the injustice, surely the FA would not be able to defend the decision making process from the referee and VAR perspectives?

Michael Oliver: get out of my lovely league, Leeds

After a brief but agonised period of reflection, during which the “Official FA Manual on Defending the Indefensible” was intensively consulted, the following statement was issued.

“The FA wish to point out that the guidance referred to specifically mentions “Premier League players” and therefore its effect is limited to that group. In the instance of Liverpool versus Leeds United on the 12th September, the penalty was awarded only four minutes into the first game of the season, which was also Leeds United’s first Premier League game since 2004. In these circumstances, the referee and the VAR officials decided that no Leeds United player could, at the time of the incident in question, yet be regarded as a Premier League player. We would also point out that referee’s decisions, subject to VAR ratification, are final – so really, it’s a bit cheeky of you to question this point.”
It is further understood that the FA, concerned that this explanation might not be acceptable to all, made a specific request to the BBC Match of the Day programme, to the effect that any discussion of the first penalty award should be omitted, with Alan Shearer nominated to make a brief remark to the effect that it was the right decision before going on to heap platitudinous praise on the plucky performance of the Premier League newcomers. The FA are confident that this further measure will effectively put the issue to bed.

Leeds United declined to comment on the matter, beyond a terse statement to the effect that, at this rate, they expect to concede 76 penalties this season. Match Referee Michael Oliver was unavailable for comment, having been advised by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) not to make himself look any dafter.

Marching On Together

24 responses to “FA Explain Liverpool’s First Penalty: Leeds Team “Not Premier League Players” – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Ken Jarvis

    Brilliant Rob.

    I can’t wait for the shoe to be on the other foot regarding a Liverpool player.

    Let’s see (a) if the referee awards the penalty and (b) if VAR steps in & tells him it was a CLEAR and OBVIOUS MISTAKE so he should overturn it.

    The Liverpool fans and commentators/pundits will be up in arms (sorry for the pun) about it but they’ll never remember this disgraceful injustice

    The majority of these so called commentators/pundits have a illness I call Selective Amnesia – they remember certain incidents but inconveniently forget others.

    Let’s hope it’s not a season where VAR does LUFC. It now stands 2-0 to VAR – the other incident was the Arsenal player kicking out & making contact in the FA Cup game – he should have walked for that


    • Thanks mate. It’s been a worrying sign of how things might go for us with VAR. Trust me, this blog will be holding to account all those guilty of nefarious dealings against our beloved Whites. MOT

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrew Buckley

    Looks like being another season were Leeds have to not only play brilliant attacking football but put up with low-down, dirty, cheating decisions as well, not that I’m bitter or anything…. Anyway we prevailed against some awful decisions last season so let’s hope we can again this season.


  3. Peter Hall

    4 mins into a new season.
    As soon as they kicked off the Leeds players are premiership players.
    Is this a joke?


  4. alan Smith

    please tell me that’s a joke? EFL all over agai. sue the corrupt idiots.


  5. David Gillespie

    So it only applies to Premier league players. What kind of stupid remark is that


    • It’s satire, David. Look it up.


      • It’s over we scored three open play against the champions , don’t forget captain missing and two new centre backs ,foul before dick scored worldy finish from mo , next please we are Leeds and boy are we back


  6. lee thompson

    Haha how can people not know by now that this forum/blog/site is tongue in cheek?!?!?!


  7. Simon Gill

    Hi Rob, Where did this FA response come from ? I can’t find that anywhere.


  8. Nice one Rob.very witty.
    Can’t believe people didn’t realise it was tongue in cheek,
    Despite dodgy decision I thought Leeds were superb. I have never felt prouder in defeat as I did last night( apart from Stuttgart at home on the away goals ). 10s of millions would have watched that all over the world and will be new converts. Our upcoming opponents will be throwing away their tactical plans and reverting to 5 men defence. We are Leeds and we are back.Christ even my Leeds hating mates ,fans of boro &Newcastle we’re texting me to say how impressed they were.mot.


  9. Life is LUFC

    You had me worried for a minute……..pity it’s not 1st April this would have been a really good one. You little devil 😇
    Damn good game though.


  10. Well, quote, there is no way Leeds can repeat a second season and expect the same bunch of players to produce such outstanding performances, Quote the hard press will not work against premier
    teams, quote Leeds may be good but they will be wanting against top class opposition. So much for experts. One game in and we are the talk of the town. Bring it on


  11. What a crock of crap, the FA never liked Leeds when they were in the championship and it sure looks like they are continuing the vendetta now Leeds are back where they belong. Surely if you play in the Premier league, that makes you a Premier league player. When did a time frame come into play?? How long do you have to play in the Premier league before you are a Premier league player?


  12. Uncle Dave

    And i thought we had left the ‘ Anti Leeds ‘ brigade back in the championship? 4 minutes in, first game, same old story. I’m having a bet for our game at Old trafford. 4 penalties conceded, 3 off side goals scored, 2 red cards, 3 penalties denied and 20 minutes of added time if the core is 3 – 3 after 90 minutes.


Leave a Reply - Publication at Site owner's Discretion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.