Sunderland get Wes Brown’s red card overturned
Appeared on replays that sending off was a case of mistaken identity involving John O’Shea
Neither Sunderland’s Wes Brown or John O’Shea will miss the club’s next match as Brown’s suspension has been overturned. He was mistaken for O’Shea during the match with Manchester United and wrongly sent off. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP
Brown was dismissed by referee Roger East for what the official felt was a foul on United striker Radamel Falcao in the area, although it appeared on replays that John O’Shea had been the man to impede the Colombian.
Referees’ body the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) released a statement after the match insisting it was not a case of mistaken identity and that East did in fact mean to send Brown off.
East believed he saw contact from O’Shea and Brown on Falcao and sent off the latter as, in his view, Brown’s foul had been the crucial one, the statement said.
However, an independent regulatory commission convened by the FA cleared Brown of any wrongdoing and he is free from suspension.
A statement posted on the FA’s official website read: “An Independent Regulatory Commission has today upheld a claim of wrongful dismissal in relation to Wes Brown.
“The Sunderland defender was dismissed in the game against Manchester United on Saturday 28th February 2015 for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.
“Therefore, his one-match suspension has been withdrawn with immediate effect.”
Speaking about the decision at his pre-Hull press conference, Poyet said: “It just been rescinded, and it’s very important for me and for English football, the way everything has been dealt with, the effort from the club and the way we did it, the honesty of the referee and the Referees’ Association.
“The rules, everybody has followed at the FA, so honesty has been at the top of this situation, which is great. It’s great for football, so I am very pleased.
“The honesty of the referee, the honesty of the Referees’ Association and the FA and the Premier League — in other situations, it would be a little bit awkward because when it’s a mistaken identity, you have got two players involved, one who has done something and the other one who has been sent off.
“But like I said, it’s good. It’s the way I like. One of the best things in life — and football is part of our life — is to live by the rules and be honest.”
Neither Brown nor O’Shea will now miss the trip to the KC Stadium.
“There are moments, certain games during the season, when you need your stronger players, your most experienced players, the leaders, and this is one of them, so having John and Wes is something very special for us,” Poyet added.
“During the season, you know you are going to miss every now and then, one of them, but there are key moments. And in brings a little bit of calmness to everybody.
“Until a few minutes ago, we needed to know if he was coming with us or not because of the decision. Everything was planned for him to play tomorrow, so it makes things easier for me.”