Chelsea was denied a penalty against West Ham because Tomas Soucek’s hand ‘broke his fall,’ according to the Premier League. Soucek touched Conor Gallagher’s shot in the 89th minute of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, prompting numerous Chelsea players to urge referee Craig Pawson for a penalty. Pawson, the on-field official, disregarded claims, and a VAR check was insufficient to overturn the initial call. Premier League referee chiefs decide Tomas Soucek’s handball against Chelsea wasn’t a penalty.
Tomas Soucek’s handball against Chelsea was a penalty?
Several fans were perplexed as to why a spot kick was not awarded, but the cause has finally been explained. The official body for all FA tournaments, PGMOL, claimed that the call was made because ‘it was the hand that broke the fall’ of Soucek. It appeared to be a penalty for Chelsea, who had only won once in their previous six visits to West Ham.
The decision perplexed players, fans, and staff alike, with some analysts questioning why it was made. Rio Ferdinand, Gianfranco Zola, and Joe Cole, who served as pundits for BT Sport during the game, agreed that it should have been a penalty.
Ferdinand said: ‘I was happy the referee and VAR didn’t see it, but I think he more or less saved it. It was a great save.
‘No wonder the Chelsea players are going bananas there, I would be going crazy. He [Soucek] gets down really well to his left, what a save that is. I can’t believe that has not been given. It is unbelievable, it is lucky.’
When questioned by presenter Lynsey Hipgrave on whether Soucek was using the arm to break the fall, Ferdinand replied: ‘Come on Lynsey.’
Zola added: ‘Maybe, but clearly, the hand is attached to the body. There is a shot to the goal that has been blocked. In my opinion, it is a penalty.
Cole said, ‘ The crucial thing for me is the distance he is from Gallagher. You can argue no penalty if he is right next to him, two yards away. But when you are that far away, you get a split second, and he knows what he is doing. It is a penalty.’