Ball: Referee may have been swayed by Celtic players
The Dons midfielder said that the penalty awarded against him was "a terrible decision".
Aberdeen's Dominic Ball has said that League Cup final referee Andrew Dallas may have been swayed by Celtic players when awarding a penalty against his team.
The Dons were 1-0 down at Hampden when Dallas pointed to the spot and gave Celtic a penalty, saying that Ball had handled the ball in the box.
Television replays show Ball was outside the area and that the ball struck his hand after he headed it. The player said the decision was wrong and suggested that Dallas had made the call because of appeals from the opposition.
Scott Sinclair saw the resultant spot-kick saved by Joe Lewis but the injustice still angered Ball.
"Its a terrible decision, " he said. "It was outside the box and I've headed it first. It was a terrible decision.
"[Dallas] said to me the complete opposite. He said 'It was in the box and it's hit your hand' so there's not much more I can do there.
"I think he might have been affected by the Celtic players calling for it but I knew straight away.
"With a decision like that, had that gone in, the game's completely over. I think there was a few decisions like that."
Ball reflected on a hard-fought game where he felt both teams gave their all and admitted the overriding feeling was one of disappointment.
"I thought as a team we performed really well and on another day we could have won.," he said.
"I'm just gutted we haven't gone and won, to be honest."