WATCH - Farcical Wes Brown red card overturned

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Wes Brown could only laugh at the ridiculous decision of referee East
Wes Brown could only laugh at the ridiculous decision of referee East

Sunderland have succeeded in overturning the farcical red card shown to defender Wes Brown against Manchester United on Saturday, but the debate over the crazy decision continues to rage.

Brown was dismissed by referee Roger East for what the official felt was a foul on United striker Radamel Falcao in the area, although it appeared on replays that John O'Shea had been the man to impede the Colombian.

Referees' body the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) released a statement after the match insisting it was not a case of mistaken identity and that East did in fact mean to send Brown off.

East believed he saw contact from O'Shea and Brown on Falcao and sent off the latter as, in his view, Brown's foul had been the crucial one, the statement said.

However, an independent regulatory commission convened by the FA cleared Brown of any wrongdoing and he is free from suspension.

A statement posted on the FA's official website read: "An Independent Regulatory Commission has today upheld a claim of wrongful dismissal in relation to Wes Brown.

"The Sunderland defender was dismissed in the game against Manchester United on Saturday 28 February 2015 for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.

"Therefore, his one-match suspension has been withdrawn with immediate effect."