Saturday 26 May 2018

Balls denies 'diving' for penalty

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is fouled at Salford City Football Club, Salford, during the Labour MPs Vs Press Lobby football match
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is fouled at Salford City Football Club, Salford, during the Labour MPs Vs Press Lobby football match

Ed Balls has denied diving to win a penalty in a football match - but admitted the linesman was a Labour councillor.

The shadow chancellor's successful spot kick was one of two goals he scored for the Politicians in a 3-0 victory over the Press in an annual conference fixture.

"The Press are saying I went down easy, who went down 3-0. A bit of sour grapes," he told Sky News.

"The referee said to me 'stonewall penalty' straight away.

"That was confirmed by the FA-approved linesman, who as it happens turns out to be a Labour councillor in Oxfordshire. We are keeping that quiet," he joked.

He said he was conscious of the potential for "Balls misses open goal" headlines when he stepped up to take the kick.

"But I had the ball and I had a penalty and I thought: time to score."

Press Association

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