PGMO has reviewed the first goal scored between Liverpool and Sunderland and believe that the correct decisions were made.
According to the Laws of the Game, having stopped the game for any infringement the referee is required to "indicate the restart of the match".
In practice, in the majority of cases, referees indicate for the re-start by gesturing to players to take the kick. These gestures can be minimal.
For the more important 'ceremonial' free-kicks, which also involve control of the defensive wall, referees can indicate by using the whistle.
However, there is no requirement by Law to use the whistle to make the indication.
The ball is then in play when it is kicked and moves. So, in this case, the ball was in play as soon as it was kicked by a Sunderland player.
Also, the Laws state that the free-kick must be taken from the place where the infringement occurred. Again, in this case, the referee correctly determined that the free-kick was played from the right place.
SEB? Either way, it was pretty obvious they'd back the ref on this one. No mention of how elbowing players in the heed is against the rules like
edit: ooops. just seen the other thread, some one get shift of this please?