Sports Letter: Penalty point

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a Manchester United supporter, I'm disappointed at our FA Cup defeat at the hands of Sheffield United, although I can't in any way deny the justice of the result.

The television coverage of the game will not have gone very far towards convincing any United fan that there isn't a media bias against the club when, after a dozen slow-motion replays of the Sheffield equaliser, all show incontrovertibly that Hoyland swept the ball into the net off his forearm, the best comment that can be made is the usual equivocal murmur from Jimmy Hill about how there 'might have been a suspicion of handball' about the goal.

I'm more incensed at the post- match comments of Sheffield manager Dave Bassett as to the missed penalty late in the game. So United wouldn't have asked for the penalty to be retaken if they had scored from it? I simply point out the provision in the laws that stipulates that when a defender encroaches into the penalty area, the referee must order the kick to be retaken only if it is missed.

Yours faithfully,

MARTIN CROOKALL

Reddish, Stockport

15 February

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