Sunderland appeal over Kevin Friend’s red card for Wes Brown in defeat at Stoke City

NO FRIEND OF OURS: Sunderland players remonstrate  with referee Kevin Friend after he showed a red card to Wes Brown at Stoke city
NO FRIEND OF OURS: Sunderland players remonstrate with referee Kevin Friend after he showed a red card to Wes Brown at Stoke city

SUNDERLAND have confirmed they will launch an appeal over the red card shown to Wes Brown at Stoke City.

Centre-half Brown faces three games on the sidelines after being sent off for only the second time in his 17-year senior career in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke City.

Head coach Poyet expressed the hope afterwards that referee Kevin Friend’s decision would be overturned without the need for Sunderland to submit an appeal to the FA.

But the Black Cats today confirmed they are going through the formal channels of appealing a dismissal which flabbergasted Sunderland’s players and staff.

Brown will miss next weekend’s trip to Aston Villa, along with the back-to-back home games against Chelsea and Spurs, if the FA’s disciplinary commission upholds the red card.

But Sunderland are confident that their appeal will be successful after widespread public condemnation of Friend’s decision.

Former players were outraged by the dismissal on social media over the weekend.

Ex-Black Cats defender Danny Higginbotham said: “What an awful decision that was. Not even worthy of a free kick never mind a red card.”

Media pundits Robbie Savage and Ian Wright both branded it “the worst decision ever”.

And on Match of the Day, former Liverpool centre-half Alan Hansen said: “I think it’s an absolute joke. He gets 100 per cent of the ball. He’s got it totally wrong.”