It isn't harsh, it is just absolutely downright wrong. He's guessed, which sometimes you have to do as referee, but what he hasn't done is look at the tools available to him. Where are the appeals from the Swiss players? They were as shocked as the Northern Ireland players when the penalty was given.
Thats a bit unfair on Switzerland, Other than them sky the pen on purpose in protest of being awarded it, I cant see what Switzerland have done wrong
Did Swiss not have like 75% possestion and Ireland no shots on goal or something and everybody to a man says Switzerland deserved to win, so calling them names etc is a tad harsh.
A bad decision Switzerland were the better team but didn;t take their chances and got lucky. Just because I'm British I want Northern Ireland to go through and I will be cheering for them in the next leg
I've watched this over and over again on Youtube and I can't tell if the ball did or did not strike the player's arm. I trust the referee on this. If the referee saw the ball hit the player's arm and the referee thought the player lifted his arm as he turned to block the shot (or similar) then it's handball. Looks like massive over reaction to me from the isles's press. You can call it harsh. It's not harsh if the referee saw a deliberate handball!
I also don't think its a horrendous call, looks to me like the ref saw the guy "do a John Terry", make himself bigger and in doing so, used arm to block the ball. Am not saying I would give it, am certainly not going to say whether its a right or wrong call, but if the ref deemed the defender made himself bigger and stopped a shot with part of the arm, then he can justify handball
I watched it after reading about it, expecting it be a the worst call of all time. Its very much not
And there are clearly appeals for it too, who knows if they were ambitious appeals or not, but there were appeals.
If the defender does not, turn whatever he turns, away from the driven shot, it hits him smack on the face and no questions will be asked?
I have two problems with this hypothesis - firstly the player didn't "make himself bigger" or lift his arm, his arm (or at least the upper part of it which was closest to where the ball hit him) was against his body. Also, from the angle he had, the referee couldn't have clearly seen it. As the replays they showed on the ITV highlights programme amply demonstrated, he was on the opposite side of the player from where the ball struck and given the angle of the player's body and the referee's angle of view, he couldn't have seen the point of contact (not without having x-ray vision) as the player's body was in the way. So from what I can tell, he's basically taken a guess, which is something I don't think you should ever do on a penalty decision, let alone one in a World Cup qualifying play-off.
As i said before, the ref has deemed it to be, in his opinion, deliberate handball, and with handball being an opinionated call, he is within his rights to make it
Am not saying am giving it, or agreeing with it!
Am just saying the ref on the day has interpretaed something which he felt should be penalised. Its not the worst call of all time.