Belfast Telegraph

Ex-ref: Bent goal should not have stood

Referee Mike Jones appeared to make an error by allowing Darren Bent's goal for Sunderland against Liverpool to stand.

Bent's strike deflected off a beach ball which had been thrown on the pitch by a Liverpool supporter, and it proved to be the winning goal at the Stadium of Light.

FIFA's Laws of the Game indicate the goal should have been disallowed.

In a section titled 'Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and guidelines for Referees', under the title 'Powers and duties', it is stated that "the referee stops, suspends or abandons the match because of outside interference of any kind".

Given the beach ball should not have been on the field of play and was only there because it was thrown by a spectator, Jones could have disallowed the goal on those grounds.

Former Premier League referee Jeff Winter has also expressed his disbelief that the goal was given,

"I'm absolutely amazed. It is a basic law in football and the goal should just not have stood.

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

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