Ian Holloway clarifies Brexit and handball comments amid widespread criticism

Football manager Ian Holloway has attempted to clarify comments linking Brexit with the new handball law after coming in for criticism online.

Holloway, appearing on Sky Sports show The Debate on Tuesday night, linked the two subjects as he criticised the introduction of new handball laws which have led to a number of goals being controversially disallowed by VAR in the opening weeks of the Premier League season.

Holloway's statements have led to him being attacked and mocked online.

A number of people have interpreted his comments as a belief that the European Union has influenced football's laws.

But he has issued an impassioned defence of his comments, insisting: "Brexit is nothing to do with the football rules, is it? I’m not that stupid".

He has clarified his point, stating he was simply drawing parallels between the UK being "told what to do" by the European Union and UEFA and FIFA dictating Premier League and EFL rules.

Instead, he wants to see the FA take greater control of the situation – just as he is calling on politicians to deliver Brexit to uphold the referendum result.

“People don’t listen," Holloway said. "What I’ve said, and I can say it very clearly, is I’m sick and fed up of being told what to do by people who aren’t running our country.

“FIFA and UEFA have brought these rules in, they told us we’ve got to use VAR that I’ve got no problem with, but that handball rule that they’ve made up, I don’t want to listen to them. That’s nonsensical.

“It’s just in the same way that I’m sick and fed up of us in the UK being told what to do by the EU.

“Brexit is nothing to do with the football rules, is it? I’m not that stupid, so I suggest people wash their ears out and listen.

“What I’m saying is, as an English person, I’m sick and fed up of being told what we’ve got to do. Our country is fantastic. If you let us make our own rules up, do what we want to do, we’ll be in control of it a lot better.

“I don’t like UEFA and I don’t like FIFA telling us what we should do in our English football game. We should take control of our own game, then that wouldn’t have happened.

“We should give the referee an earpiece, so he can explain to the crowd what’s happened with VAR, and we should get rid of that handball rule when you’re checking for goals. It’s unfair and it doesn’t sit well in football.

“As for Brexit, that’s totally different. All I’m saying is I’m sick and fed up of our Prime Minister and other parties arguing over something we all voted for and we all want them to produce for us, whether it’s a no deal or not. That’s what I’m sick and fed up with.

“Let’s get out and stop the EU dictating to us what we can do. I feel exactly the same with Uefa and Fifa over our football – I think the English FA should have more power and we should believe in ourselves, and I believe the EFL should have more power rather than the Premier League telling them what to do.

“People who listen, I would suggest they actually listen to all of it and stop going off on a tangent.

“I know exactly what I meant and what I said. I’m sick and fed up, like a lot of people in this country, of being told what to do by people outside our country. In politics, and in football, particular with UEFA and FIFA changing the rules.”

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