There are certainly bad and totally unfair ways to lose a game. But this...man, oh, man. This is one rough way to lose a game.
Today in the English Premier League, Sunderland beat Liverpool 1-0, thanks to a beach ball. Seriously.
During play at Sunderland's Stadium of Light, some moronic Liverpool kid punched a beach ball out onto the field which rolled in front of the goal, just as Sunderland striker Darren Bent unloaded a shot. As you can probably guess, the soccer ball struck the beach ball and went in for a goal. Uh, shouldn't that not count?
Whoops. I'll be honest, we give NBA refs a lot of crap, but I swear the worst officials out there are soccer refs. They're seemingly braindead half the time.
...the referee has the option to allow play to continue if a "second ball" goes on to the field but should call a halt if it interferes with the action.
It also states he should stop the game in the case of "any kind of outside interference" but in reality matches are routinely allowed to continue with items like balloons on the pitch.
Former FIFA referee Graham Poll told the BBC the referee should have stopped the game and given a drop ball.
As for the goal itself, here's the video (for as long as it stays up).
Liverpool Left Deflated By Sunderland's Beach-Ball Winner [The New York Times]