Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 17:46 GMT
Man City lodge balloons complaint
Manchester City keeper Joe Hart
Manchester City keeper Joe Hart struggled to cope with the balloons
Manchester City have complained to the Football Association over the match officials' failure to clear the ballons in the FA Cup loss to Sheffield United.

Luton Shelton's opener for United came after Michael Ball failed to clear the ball as it rolled through the balloons.

Referee Alan Wiley had asked City goal keeper Joe Hart to get rid of the balloons while play was at the other end of the pitch.

But City have written to the FA arguing play should have been stopped.

You can't ask a player to clear the pitch when the ball is live

Man City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson

"The club believe that Mr Wiley and his team should have stopped play and instructed Sheffield United staff and stewards to remove the obstacles from the field of play before continuing with the game," said a club statement on their website.


"It was the officials' responsibility, and their failure to do so had a direct bearing on the first goal being scored in a very important FA Cup tie, which was decided by one goal."

The balloons were brought by City's away fans and after the Manchester's club 2-1 defeat Eriksson said: "I've never seen a goal like it before.

"The ball changed direction and the balloons played a one-two with Michael Ball. But we should not blame the balloons - we should have done better."

"We asked the fourth official to tell the referee Alan Wiley to stop the game and take away the balloons or kill them.

"But the referee told our goalkeeper Joe Hart to do it during the game which isn't fair. You can't ask a player to clear the pitch when the ball is live."

Thieves add to Man City's misery
27 Jan 08 |  England
Sheff Utd 2-1 Man City
27 Jan 08 |  FA Cup
FA Cup as it happened
27 Jan 08 |  FA Cup
FA Cup photos
27 Jan 08 |  FA Cup
How to watch Match of the Day
08 Oct 07 |  Match of the Day


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us | Advertise with us