'How are we supposed to know?' - Sutton and Richards perplexed by controversial Brighton incident

Chris Sutton and Micah Richards have become the latest pundits to express their disbelief at the refereeing decision that saw Brighton have an equalising goal disallowed in their 1-0 defeat to West Brom on Saturday.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 8:00 am
Aaron Connolly, Pascal Gross and Lewis Dunk of Brighton and Hove Albion confront referee Lee Mason. (Photo by Peter Powell - Pool/Getty Images)

The Seagulls were involved in a chaotic series of events when Lewis Dunk caught West Brom stopper Sam Johnstone napping with a quickly-taken free-kick in the first half of their clash at The Hawthorns.

Lee Mason initially appeared to have given the goal despite blowing his whistle twice as the ball was struck.

In the aftermath, the official and his VAR team deliberated for a long while over whether Dunk had taken his shot before or after Mason gave his signal, and eventually concluded that the effort should be chalked off.

Reflecting on the bizarre incident during BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club, former Manchester City defender Richards said: “How are we supposed to know the rules if they don’t even know the rules?”.

Ex-Blackburn Rovers and Celtic striker Sutton responded: “I don’t really see what VAR had to do with Lee Mason and his error.

"I just think he panicked.

"I think he allowed Dunk to take the free-kick, saw where Sam Johnstone, the West Brom goalkeeper was positioned, and then blew the whistle again and all hell broke loose.”

Richards and Sutton are far from the only pundits to have expressed their annoyance at Saturday’s controversial decision.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Danny Murphy claimed that he would have been left “fuming” by the call to disallow the goal, while Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling was left similarly incensed.