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Deflating news for official...

The Sun reports that referee Mike Jones is set to be axed from next weekend's match list after his much-publicised error at Sunderland on Saturday.

Darren Bent scored his eighth goal of the season in bizarre fashion, his shot taking a wicked deflection off a beach-ball thrown on to the pitch by a young Liverpool fan, and whizzing past a bewildered Pepe Reina in goal. The Black Cats went on to secure a 1-0 win.

The 41-year-old Cheshire referee has come under heavy criticism from experts and former match officials, who argue the goal should have been disallowed due to 'outside interference'.

According to strict interpretation of FIFA's laws, the strike should not have been allowed to stand, and a drop-ball should have been awarded instead.

It is understood that Jones - and the other matchday officials - will be asked to explain his actions in front of the Professional Game Match Officials Board today.