9 Mar 2016

Smackdown: After Liverpool/Palace penalty fiasco, the FA takes decisive action and punishes Benteke linesman

Debate continues to rage over the scandalous decision at the weekend to award Liverpool a last-gasp, match-winning penalty against Crystal Palace, and it appears that FA have tacitly conceded that the linesman made a huge error of judgment with his decision to reward Christian Benteke's cynical gamesmanship.

According to The Mirror:

linesman Scott Ledger has been taken off the Premier League list for this weekend...after his controversial Christian Benteke penalty decision.

Coincidence? Possibly, but I doubt it. Referees and linesman are generally dumped from the official's list for making high profile mistakes.

The most recent (comparable) example of this is Mark Clattenburg being dropped after awarding a controversial penalty against Manchester City last month (which, like Crystal Palace, led to City losing the game).

Additionally, it's probable that the referee, Andre Marriner, disputed the linesman's decision in his match report. Indeed, after the game, Damien Delaney told reporters:

"It’s the dive that makes the linesman’s mind up. I waited over an hour to speak with the officials, and Andre Marriner said he didn’t think it was a penalty".

I've already outlined my view on this debacle in a different article, but Alan Shearer summed it on Monday, when he slated the decision, and slammed Benteke's obvious attempt to game the system:

"No way ever did I think the Benteke incident was a penalty. I totally disagreed with what the pundits said after the game

"Just because there’s contact doesn’t mean it’s a penalty. I saw it at the time and I’ve seen it ten times since, and yes there was a small touch, but not enough for a player to be brought down, and so it was definitely not a penalty.

"Even in Benteke’s interview after the game he said “I think I was touched”. He didn’t even know for sure himself".

Amen. Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling that karma will come into play in the upcoming Europa League clashes with Manchester United. You reap what you sow, and the universe may decide to balance things out.

Author: Jaimie K


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