Manchester City charged by FA over failure to control players against Spurs

Referee’s controversial late call led to furious City reaction

Manchester City have been charged by the Football Association following the furious confrontation with the referee, Simon Hooper, that blighted the end of an otherwise thrilling 3-3 draw with Tottenham on Sunday.

The Premier League champions have been charged with failing to control their players after a set-to followed Hooper’s decision not to allow City a possibly important advantage in the final minutes of play. Erling Haaland, who led the complaints and was seen screaming at Hooper at close range, will not be subject to personal charges for his behaviour, nor for a tweet sent immediately after the match.

Hooper’s controversial call came in the fifth minute of second‑half stoppage time. Haaland was fouled by Yves Bissouma but got up to play the ball over the top of the Spurs defence to set Jack Grealish clear for a run on goal, with Hooper seemingly signalling he had given City licence to take the advantage, only for the referee then to blow his whistle and call play back for the foul.

Haaland immediately confronted the referee and was joined by a number of other City players. At the end of the match the Norwegian stormed off the field and sent a message to his six million X followers with a clip of the incident and the caption: “Wtf”.


City were charged on Monday by the FA under rule E20.1, which mandates that a club must ensure its players do not “behave in a way which is improper, offensive, violent, threatening, abusive, indecent, insulting or provocative”. The club has until Thursday to appeal against the charge. – Guardian