Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Referee lands in trouble for beach ball goal

By George Caulkin

Monday October 19 2009

MIKE JONES will be asked to explain himself to refereeing officials after being castigated for his performance at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

The Cheshire-based referee failed to rule out Sunderland's winning goal against Liverpool after Darren Bent's shot was deflected off a beach ball that had been thrown from the crowd, in spite of consulting one of his assistants.

While Liverpool's complaints were muted after their underwhelming performance and a merited defeat, Jones has been told by senior refereeing officials that he made an error.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said only a "saddo" would be aware of a football rule that rarely comes into prominence, but Jeff Winter, a former referee, declared himself "absolutely stunned" that Jones allowed the goal.

"I am absolutely amazed that for a referee at that level of football, that between him, his assistant, the fourth official, they didn't see what had happened and give the correct decision," he said.

"I try to defend referees wherever possible knowing the problems they face but, on this particular occasion, everybody's having a laugh and a joke about it, but this is far more serious in terms of the laws of the game than when the referee doesn't see the ball go over the goalline.

"That is understandable with the pace of the modern game and being unsighted, but this is just basic law. An outside influence is any outside influence. It is anything other than the 22 maximum players on the field and the referee."

- George Caulkin

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