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04th Dec 2023

Former Premier League official says referee ‘didn’t do anything wrong’ with advantage decision


‘It’s the referee’s choice’

Erling Haaland and Giovani Lo Celso were involved in a furious row at full-time of Manchester City’s draw against Spurs.

Dejan Kulusevski’s late header earned Ange Postecoglou’s side a point but there was controversy in the final stages in the game.

Despite being clipped, Haaland regained his balance and was able to send the ball over the top for Jack Grealish to run through on goal however referee Simon Hooper blew the whistle to pull the play back for a foul.

The decision angered everyone associated with the blue side of Manchester as they believed advantage should’ve been allowed to see if Grealish would go on and score the winner.

After the full time whistle was blew, Haaland and Lo Celso clashed after the Man City forward appeared to snap at something that was said to him by Lo Celso.

Both had to be separated as a swarm of players and staff came together to pull them away from each other.

Haaland meanwhile could be facing disciplinary action from the FA for his criticism of referee Simon Hooper.

He took to social media to blast Hooper for the decision, sharing a clip of the crucial moment with a caption of “WTF.”

Now, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has spoken out in favour or Hooper, saying: “Technically, by law he [the referee] hasn’t done anything wrong. It is the ref’s choice to play advantage, not anybody else.”

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch, Gallagher said: “Difficult because this is a lad who I’d say plays advantage more than anybody. He quite rightly plays on and for whatever reason Simon then blows up.

“If he’d have waited a second later the whole landscape changes. technically, by law he hasn’t done anything wrong. It is the ref’s choice to play advantage, not anybody else.”

However that isn’t to say that everyone was on Hooper’s side, as former Liverpool, Leeds United and Aston Villa defender Stephen Warnock said: “I accept human error but it is a big error from Simon Hooper. He will be devastated looking back at that.”

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