Football divided over ex-Socceroos hero’s red card

Football’s controversial handball rules are once again in the spotlight after former Socceroos keeper Andrew Redmayne was controversially red-carded in an A-League clash.

Redmayne was sent off just 15 minutes into Sydney FC‘s clash against Macarthur after referees adjudged him to have handled the ball.

As Macarthur made an attacking run, Redmayne came well out of his box in an attempt to shut it down.

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Sensing an opportunity to shoot at an open goal, Macarthur’s Matthew Millar took the shot and the ball appeared in real time to have come off Redmayne’s shoulder.

Play was initially allowed to continue by referee Daniel Elder, before the VAR instructed him to have a second look.

Replays showed the ball had actually hit Redmayne’s right bicep, and his arm was away from his body.

As Elder pondered his decision, Redmayne repeatedly gestured to suggest the ball had come off his shoulder, despite clear evidence to suggest otherwise.

Elder eventually showed Redmayne a red card, and Sydney FC were reduced to 10 men.

“That is a massive blow for the home side. Andrew Redmayne is saying it came off his chest … very disappointing for him,” Robbie Thomson said in commentary for Channel 10.

The crucial part of the decision was that Redmayne’s arm was away from his torso, and not tucked in.

However, what does and doesn’t constitute a handball is a hot topic in football, and how the referees must enforce the rule differs slightly across the world.

Redmayne shot to prominence in June 2022 when he spectacularly danced around the goal line and then saved the subsequent penalty kick off Peruvian Alex Valera to send the Socceroos to the Qatar World Cup.

He earned himself the nickname the ‘Grey Wiggle’ and even made appearances with the children’s group in the weeks following.

Co-commentator Andy Harper wasn’t convinced by the decision to send Redmayne off, but conceded the goalkeeper had put himself in a terrible position.

“Intentional hand ball? We haven’t quite removed the word intent from the rules, it’s a hugely contentious issue,” he said.

“What is beyond dispute, is Redmayne cut himself away from the anchor and was in no-man’s land completely, and from there people can make their own mind up.”

Former Socceroo Alex Brosque said it was an “unfortunate” moment.

“Watching it live and seeing the replay, it looked like the referee made the right call in letting it play on,” he said at half-time.

“But the moment it strikes the arm, it is away from his body.

“It’s one of those ones that’s so unfortunate – the talk is about (whether the arm is in a natural position).

“It’s hard not to run sometimes with your arms away from your body – nobody runs with their arms tucked behind their sides. 

“It’s unfortunate, but it is hard to argue.”

A man down, Sydney FC were unable to compete with the raging Bulls, who eventually ran out 2-0 winners courtesy of goals to Jake Hollman and Valere Germain.

The Bulls remain undefeated through the first seven matches of the A-League men’s season to sit on top of the ladder.

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