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04th Dec 2023

Manchester City charged by FA for behaviour in Spurs draw

Callum Boyle

Man City charged

City’s players surrounded the referee

Manchester City have been charged by the Football Association for “failing to ensure their players did not behave in a way which was improper” in the draw against Spurs.

City thought they had won the game until Dejan Kulusevski’s late header levelled the score to make it 3-3.

Pep Guardiola’s side were left raging however after referee Simon Hooper denied Jack Grealish the chance to go through on goal one-on-one after pulling back play for a foul on Erling Haaland.

Haaland was one of several players to surround the referee and even tweeted about the incident – which could lead to a fine.

A statement from the FA read: “Manchester City have been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20.1 after their players surrounded the match official during the Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday 3 December 2023.

“It’s alleged that, during the 94th minute of the fixture, the club failed to ensure their players do not behave in a way which is improper.”

This isn’t the first time City have been charged for an incident like this.

They were fined £75,000 for a similar offence during a league fixture against Arsenal back in February.

The laws of the game indicate that match officials should only play advantage if “there is a real benefit for the non-offending team, no player is seriously injured” or “there is no risk of a reaction or a confrontation.”

Replays show Hooper calling for a foul but not blowing his whistle, allowing play to continue only to then halt play moments later after Haaland had played the ball through.

Guardiola refused to criticise him in his post-match conference, saying: “I don’t want to criticise them (the referees), sometimes on the touchline I lose my mind, but here I don’t like to comment. We didn’t draw because of that.”

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