Thanks to this boneheaded play by Sporting CP’s reserve team player Budag Nasirov, it’s now certain that all handballs in the box are penalties, even if a player, like Nasirov at that moment, is not actually in the game.

Nasirov was warming up on the sideline when the ball came to him during this weekend’s match against Academica, and must have thought the ball had already gone out of play when he tried to wrangle it. The ball was still in play, though, and after Academica’s players complained to the ref, the official awarded the away team a penalty.


It was a weird situation but probably the right call, if also a fairly unsporting one. The ball was going to go out of bounds anyway, though you also don’t want to allow intentional interferences like that. In any case, the lesson here is something Nasirov should’ve already known: In soccer, you can’t use your hands.