Sunderland launch appeal against Wes Brown red card
Sunderland have announced they will appeal against Wes Brown's red card after the defender was sent off against Stoke at the weekend.
The decision by referee Kevin Friend provoked a storm of criticism after Brown appeared to win the ball and not even touch Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam.
Sunderland confirmed they have lodged an intention to appeal against the decision with the Football Association and will send in a full appeal file before a deadline of 1pm tomorrow.
A Sunderland spokeswoman said: "We have lodged our intention to appeal against the decision."
Sunderland lost the match 2-0 and manager Gus Poyet demanded an apology from Premier League referees chief Mike Riley.
Meanwhile, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes Friend made a clear mistake.
He told Sky Sports News: "I can keep this very short. We have to take it smack on the chin. The referee has lost concentration or not seen it.
"It is not a red card, that's all you can say.
"Brown's gone in hard but he's entitled to do that. As a refereeing body you have to take that smack on the chin."
After a weekend full of controversial decisions, Gallagher also felt Phil Dowd had made a mistake in not sending-off Everton's Kevin Mirallas for a wild lunge on Liverpool's Luis Suarez in the Merseyside derby.
"He should have been sent-off," said Gallagher. "He's come at speed and it's high.
"The referee has got a body between him and Suarez and he hasn't seen it."
Meanwhile, FA sources have confirmed there will be no retrospective disciplinary action against Manchester United's Wayne Rooney or Mirallas, who both escaped with bookings for incidents that many felt warranted red cards.
Although the new rules brought in by FA chairman Greg Dyke took effect from this weekend which make it easier to take retrospective action, they only relate to cases where match officials did not see the incident.
Rooney was booked by referee Neil Swarbrick for a kick at Cardiff's Jordon Mutch, while Mirallas was cautioned for his challenge on Suarez.
An FA source said the officials in both cases had seen the incidents and made a judgement they warranted bookings rather than dismissals, and the FA is unable to 'upgrade' yellow cards to reds.
Dyke announced the new rules after Chelsea's Fernando Torres escaped action for scratching Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen. Although Torres was booked after the incident, that was for a trip rather than the scratching which followed, and which was unseen by the referee.