Apologies and bans are not enough for Warnock
Match officials suspended and inquiry called after clear Palace 'goal' is disallowed
Monday 17 August 2009
Keith Hackett, the head of the referees' union, has issued a public apology and the Football League has suspended the offending officials pending a review, but nothing appears likely to appease the Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock in the wake of his side's controversial 1-0 defeat at Bristol City on Saturday.
The referee, Rob Shoebridge, disallowed a Palace "goal" after a 30th-minute shot from Freddie Sears struck the back of the Bristol City net and rebounded back into play, a decision which looked woeful even before the harsh spotlight of television replays. An 89th-minute winning goal from Nicky Maynard did not improve the mood of Warnock, who refused to shake hands with City players or their manager, Gary Johnson, on the final whistle, claiming that the hosts should have assisted the referee.
"I think they should have gone up the pitch and put the ball in their net," Warnock said. "That's happened in the past, when it's as obvious as that, as blatant as that. It absolutely stinks when you can't get a genuine goal at a place like that.
"Harry Redknapp rang me and said, 'It's the 21st century, how long since we had a man on the moon?' Fifa won't let us have cameras on the goal-line, so what's to stop a fourth official from looking at a monitor for 20 seconds for an incident like this? We've been let down by four people, not one person in black could see it. Even the fourth official and linesman at our end could see that it went in. It's absolutely ridiculous. I don't know how they keep their jobs."
Warnock's opposite number Johnson remained unrepentant about events and clutched at the straw of a Palace infringement in the build-up to the "goal," although no free-kick was given.
"Personally, I don't know what it hit, but people's first reaction was that it looked like decent goal," Johnson said. "But the lads were saying the linesmen said it was a push in the end, even though the ball went in the net."
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