Referee Roger East insists he got Wes Brown red card decision right
Last Updated: 01/03/15 2:07pm
Referee Roger East has told match officials' body PGMOL it was not a case of mistaken identity when he sent off Sunderland's Wes Brown at Manchester United.
East says he believed both Brown and John O'Shea made contact with Radamel Falcao in the incident that resulted in a penalty in the Premier League clash at Old Trafford on Saturday.
As he (East) thought Brown made a foul on Falcao while he was in the act of shooting, he dismissed Brown.
The official pointed to the spot in the second half after Falcao appeared to be felled by O'Shea, although Brown was in close proximity as well.
Replays showed O'Shea pulled Falcao back just as he was about to shoot, and Brown came around to challenge the Colombia forward.
O'Shea pleaded with East to send him off instead, but it was Brown who walked.
A statement from the PGMOL read: “From his position Roger East, the match referee, believed he saw contact from John O’Shea and Wes Brown on Radamel Falcao.
"As he thought Brown made a foul on Falcao while he was in the act of shooting, he dismissed Brown. After the incident, the match referee consulted with his team of officials but none were better placed to offer guidance.”
United went on to win 2-0 and East's decision occurred on the same day that football's law-makers ruled out the imminent use of video technology.
Louis van Gaal said after the game: "The (Sunderland) players protested more because they felt the wrong player was sent off. That's a mistake. You make mistakes as well, and so do I. It can happen."
Wayne Rooney converted the subsequent penalty, ending his eight-game spell without a league goal.
The United captain scored again from close range in the 85th as the hosts leapfrogged Arsenal into third place in the table.
Rooney admitted he thought East had got the penalty decision wrong.
He told Sky Sports News HQ: "I don’t think it was Wes – it looked like 'Sheasy' so the referee has got it wrong and I’m sure they will look at that and rescind Wes’ red card."
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet was also baffled by the decision to show Brown the red card.
Poyet said: "The referee told the players there were two fouls. One committed by John O'Shea and one committed by Wes Brown.
"He gave the Wes Brown one so that's why he sent him off. Wes Brown didn't touch anyone, so I don't know what he saw. How can you give a penalty that didn't happen?"