It’s fair to say that Christian Benteke’s penalty incident at the weekend has divided opinion.
The Belgian striker appeared to have his ankle clipped by the knee of Damien Delaney to give Liverpool a 95th-minute penalty against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The referee appeared unmoved initially, but the assistant referee felt there was sufficient contact to award the kick.
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To make things even worse for Palace, Benteke stepped up and cheekily tucked away the spot-kick to give his side a 2-1 win.
Three days on and hundreds of slow-motion replays later, people are still arguing over the award.
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Even the offender, Delaney, is confused about whether he made contact or not.
He wrote a contradictory message on his Instagram saying: “I can honestly say I didn’t make contact with Benteke and if there was slight contact I didn’t impede him.”
While Liverpool fans are convinced it was the correct decision, Crystal Palace fans are still apoplectic over Andre Marriner’s award and Benteke’s involvement in it.
In fact, one fan is so furious that he’s started a petition to "ban Christian Beneke and fine Liverpool FC 6 points."
The petition, aimed at the FA, says:
“During the Premier League game on Sunday 6th March 2016 between Crystal Palace and Liverpool in the 94th minute Liverpool player Christian Benteke DIVED to con the refereeing officials to award Liverpool with a penalty which subsequently won them the game.
"According to the football association or "FA" diving or "simulation" is against the rules.
"We, fans of Crystal Palace, demand that the FA look into this decision and if found that Christian Benteke did simulate contact he should be banned for a number of games and Liverpool Football Club "LFC" to be fined 6 points at a minimum.
"We understand that the result of the game cannot be changed but the FA need to come down on this sort of behaviour.”
The petition can be found at the following link: https://www.change.org/p/football-assosiation-ban-christian-benteke-and-fine-liverpool-fc-6-points
At the time of writing, the petition has almost 1,500 signatures - most of which are presumably angry Eagles fans.
Palace fans were probably encouraged to fume about the decision by their manager Alan Pardew, who was furious in the post-match interviews.
"That touch doesn't warrant that dive," Pardew told a BBC reporter. "If that touch warrants a collapse like that, then wow.
"It's the dive that makes the linesman's mind up. The linesman assumes that little touch is a penalty.
"You've got to be 100% sure," the former Newcastle United, West Ham and Southampton manager said. "In super slow motion, the knee touches the foot and he goes over like he's been shot."
Although it’s clear that this petition has absolutely no chance of resulting in a ban for Benteke or the docking of six points for Liverpool, it’s a pretty funny way to express your anger at a referring decision.
Do you think Liverpool were rightfully awarded their penalty against Crystal Palace? Let us know in the comments box below!
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