Under-fire ref Attwell backed by refereeing chiefs

According to refereeing chiefs, Stuart Attwell made the right decision in allowing Liverpool's opening goal against Sunderland to stand.
kuyt

According to refereeing chiefs, Stuart Attwell made the right decision in allowing Liverpool's opening goal against Sunderland to stand.

Steve Bruce was furious with the official after Saturday's 2-2 draw, claiming that Attwell should have ruled out Dirk Kuyt's effort.

Fernando Torres seized on Michael Turner's free-kick before playing in Kuyt, but the Black Cats were adamant that he was just touching the ball back for goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to restart play.

However, the Professional Game Match Officials body (PGMO) has defended Attwell after looking back at the incident.

"PGMO has reviewed the first goal scored between Liverpool and Sunderland and believe that the correct decisions were made," read a statement.

"In the majority of cases, referees indicate for the restart by gesturing to players to take the kick.

"These gestures can be minimal.... there is no requirement by Law to use the whistle to make the indication.

"The ball is then in play when it is kicked and moves. So, in this case, the ball was in play as soon as it is kicked by a Sunderland player.

"Also, the Laws state that the free-kick must be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.

"Again, in this case, the referee correctly determined that the free-kick was played from the right place."

Turner was shocked by the decision but admitted that next time he would ensure there was no confusion by picking the ball up and rolling it.

"I just passed it back to the goalkeeper to come and take. I would never have back-heeled it like that to take a free-kick. It's just one of those things," he said.

 
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