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Other SportsSimon Hooper not being stood down over Manchester City-Tottenham advantage controversy

Simon Hooper not being stood down over Manchester City-Tottenham advantage controversy

Referee Simon Hooper will not be stood down from Premier League duties this week after his controversial decision to deny Manchester City a late advantage in Sunday’s draw with Tottenham.

City’s players and coaching staff were infuriated when, in stoppage time at the end of Sunday’s remarkable 3-3 draw, Hooper whistled for a free-kick when Jack Grealish appeared to be through on goal.

Hooper initially played advantage as Erling Haaland got back to his feet following a foul from Emerson Royal, only to give the free-kick when Grealish received a throughball from the striker.

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Haaland was one of several City players to surround Hooper and furiously protest the decision, and the striker could face disciplinary action after being pictured screaming at the official before storming down the tunnel after the full-time whistle was blown.

Haaland subsequently criticised the decision on X, formerly known as Twitter, quoting a video of the incident with the caption: “Wtf”.

Hooper has already been stood down from Premier League duties once this season, after failing to award Wolves a penalty in their 1-0 defeat at Manchester United despite Andre Onana committing a clear foul on Sasa Kalajdzic in stoppage time.

Refereeing body Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) subsequently apologised to Wolves for that decision, but they have reportedly accepted that Sunday’s call was a human error and decided against any further action.

As a result, Hooper will take charge of Sheffield United’s clash with Liverpool on Wednesday as planned.

Pep Guardiola refused to be drawn on the incident after the game, instead taking a swipe at Mikel Arteta’s decision to criticise officiating standards after Arsenal’s defeat to Newcastle United last month.

When asked about the incident by Sky Sports, the City boss said: “Next question. I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment.”

Former City defender Micah Richards, speaking in his role as a Sky Sports pundit, said: “The problem I have is that we’ve had so many situations where play is allowed to go on.

“If you’re in doubt, just leave the play to go on and you can always bring it back. That’s why City will feel aggrieved.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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