Penalty or Not: Haimoudi and Netherlands v. Australia
The ball did hit Daryl Janmaat of Netherlands on the hand in the box. No question.
So, if you’re going by the letter of the law, Algerian Djamel Haimoudi might be considered right to give the penalty.
But I have two questions about the call, the second more serious than the first.
1.) Did it rise to the level of a penalty?
Janmaat’s arm was away from his side, true, but he was pulling it behind him. He had little to no reaction time when the ball rocketed toward his hand. And he definitely did not appear to be attempting to control the ball.
This, to me, was harsh.
2.) Was it consistent?
But my second concern is even more serious. We saw three similar – or worse – handballs in the box in the Switzerland v. Ecuador game alone, all by Ecuador. None were called.
In yesterday’s 1-1 draw, Russia’s equalizer was set up by a handball that was arguably worse than Janmaat’s.
None of those were called, or even acknowledged.
It brings up a lack of consistency about the World Cup referees. If Haimoudi was right, and maybe he was, then the others should have been called as well. If those weren’t penalties, then Janmaat’s probably wasn’t either.
This consistency issue is the hardest thing for football fans to swallow; if the referees are consistent, it’s easier to accept a call like this, even when it goes against you.
Featured photo: Bleacher Report