Roberts: Suarez goal not in right spirit

International referee Dave Roberts believes Luis Suarez's controversial winner against Mansfield should have been disallowed for handball.

Luis Suarez

By Marcus Chhan

Suarez scored in the 59th-minute after the ball hit his hand and rebounded kindly for the Uruguayan to put into the open net.

The Liverpool ace has been accused of cheating Mansfield out of the FA Cup as his second half goal proved to be decisive in Sunday's 2-1 win.

Referee Andre Marriner allowed the goal to stand, but Roberts, who is also a senior executive producer at ESPN STAR Sports, thinks the decision went "against the spirit of the game" as it denied the Blue Square Bet Premier side a replay.

However, he did stress that Suarez should not take blame for the goal as it was not deliberate handball.

"A very strange one," Roberts told

"I'm not sure it was intentional [handball], more reaction and I certainly don't think he [Suarez] had time to pull his hand away from the ball. For that reason a ref should allow the goal to stand, and in the US I did allow a match winning goal which was scored after going in off the striker's arm.

"But, in this one if I had been refereeing and I had seen it I would have disallowed it. For no other reason than it goes against the spirit of the game.

"That's no reason for a ref to go against the laws of the game, but the ref in this situation is in a win/win as whichever decision he gives there is sufficient evidence he could be supported either way."

Roberts also felt that Mariner did not see Suarez's handball which likely resulted in his decision to award Liverpool a legitimate goal.

"I truly believe Andre Mariner did not see the Suarez handball as I think 90% of professional game referees would have disallowed the goal if they had seen it," he said.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge scored on debut to to hand the Reds the first half lead before Suarez's disputed second goal doubled their advantage.

Matt Green's 79th-minute strike pulled one back for Mansfield although the minnows will argue it should have been enough to force a replay instead of a 2-1 defeat.

Liverpool head in the last 32 of the FA Cup at npower League One Oldham.

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