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By ESPN Staff

Beach ball referee Jones drops into Championship

Mike Jones, the referee who incorrectly awarded Darren Bent's goal for Sunderland against Liverpool on Saturday, will not officiate in the Premier League this weekend.

Bent's shot struck a beach ball punched from the visiting section at the Stadium of Light and deflected past Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

FIFA's laws of the game state "the referee should stop, suspend or abandon the match because of outside interference of any kind'', meaning the goal should have been ruled out and the match re-started with a drop ball.

Jones will take charge of the Championship game between Peterborough and Scunthorpe at London Road.

Jones' mistake has been widely criticised by a number of his former colleagues with Jeff Winter, Dermot Gallagher and Graham Poll all stating their surprise that such a basic error was made in a Premier League game.

Gallagher said: "It was a glaring error and it's difficult to fathom. Even referees in local parks should know that if there is an outside agent on the pitch then you stop the game and restart it with a drop ball.

"When you set out as a referee you learn the laws of the game and everyone should know it. For it to happen at this level and in such a high-profile game is unbelievable. Any one of the four officials should have stepped in.''

The possibility if the game being replayed has been rejected by the Premier League.

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