Graham Poll: Dowd got Richards penalty decision wrong on two fronts
Phil Dowd made two errors in awarding Liverpool a penalty after the ball hit Micah Richards’ arm.
Firstly, with Richards two yards away from the ball as it was struck and his arms in a natural position, the handball had to be accidental. On top of that, the ball hit his arm after being deflected off his foot.
Dowd’s second error was to mime what he thought he saw. He put both arms above his head to indicate what the City defender had done wrong.
Talking point: Micah Richards was penalised for this handball
When looking at replays, while one of Richards’ arms is above his head, it is not the one that the ball struck after deflecting, so Dowd’s perception — which he repeatedly made clear — did not match the fact.
A handball must be deliberate to be given as a foul. Referees are told to consider the proximity of the offender to the opponent striking the ball, the speed the ball is travelling, whether the arms are in a natural position and if the player had a chance of getting out of the way. You can see why City were so upset.
Put your hands up! Referee Phil Dowd explains his decision to Richards