Football fans have fumed that football is now a 'non-contact' sport after Sheffield Wednesday were awarded a soft penalty against Derby on Sunday.
Curtis Davies' poor backpass had set Wednesday through on goal, and as he tried to make amends, he seemingly pulled back Marvin Johnson. However, there was minimal contact, but Davies was still given his marching orders.
Michael Smith rolled the penalty home to hand Wednesday the 1-0 win, and ending Derby's playoff hopes in the process. Fans have fumed at the decision online – with some even declaring it the death of the beautiful game.
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One fan fumed: "It’s never a penalty or red card. Dive to con the ref. The bloke is big enough to shrug off minimal contact. But this is the world we live in today. Football is slowly becoming a non-contact sport due to diving!"
"That is the softest penalty I’ve ever ever seen in my life. And it’s potentially what will keep us down. Refs absolutely bottled it," a second admitted. While a third tweeted: "That is the softest penalty you’ve ever f****** seen!"
"This decision cost Derby County potential promotion. Never a penalty and never a red. The standard of refereeing in this country is an embarrassment," another added.
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The result consigned the Rams for another season in the third tier, and after the game boss Paul Warne told BBC Radio Derby: "I don't think it's today's performance that hasn't got us in. We dropped points we shouldn't have dropped which I'm hugely disappointed with.
"But I thought our performance today was excellent. It was the best away performance we've had, against a top-six team, and I know I'm biased, but I thought for large periods we were the better team, both with 11 and 10.
"It's hard for the players – there's a lot in tears in the dressing room as you can imagine, but hopefully we can keep the large majority of them for next season, improve where we can and have a real go."
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