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Manchester City receive six-figure fine following incident involving referee Simon Hooper against Tottenham



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Premier League champions Manchester City have been issued with a £120,000 fine by the Football Association following an incident during the 3-3 draw against Tottenham.

The incident took place during the closing stages of the encounter between Pep Guardiola and Ange Postecoglou’s men at the Etihad Stadium, with the home side pushing to record a statement victory in the English top-flight.

With the score poised at 3-3, Erling Haaland released a ball over the top of the Tottenham defence into the path of Jack Grealish, having originally been fouled just seconds earlier, freeing the Englishman into a one-vs-one on the Spurs goal.

However, referee Simon Hooper called the play back to the original foul much to the dismay and anger of Manchester City players and fans alike, as well as manager Pep Guardiola alongside fourth official Anthony Taylor.

Now, Manchester City have been sanctioned by the Football Association over their players’ reaction to the decision from referee Simon Hooper.

A statement issued by the Football Association on Monday afternoon confirmed Manchester City’s fine of £120,000, and the Premier League club’s admission with regards to their failure to control their players’ behaviour during the incident.

“Manchester City FC have been fined £120,000 after their players surrounding a match official at the Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur FC on Sunday 3 December,” a statement read.

“Manchester City FC admitted that they failed to ensure their players did not behave in an improper way during the 94th minute. An independent Regulatory Commission imposed this sanction following a hearing.”

PGMOL chief Howard Webb has personally commented on the incident itself, admitting human error on the part of referee Simon Hooper, who was described as being hugely disappointed by the mistake made at such a crucial point in the contest.

Speaking to ‘Match Officials: Mic’d Up’ presented by Sky Sports, Webb explained, “On this particular occasion he (Simon Hooper) sees a pretty strong, reckless, foul challenge by Emerson Royal on Haaland and it’s in midfield and the ball comes backwards.

“He does the hard work, he just hesitates a moment to just see if an advantage is possible but he recognises in his mind thinking it through that it was a strong challenge, it was reckless, he is going to have to caution.

“At ground level, it’s not quite so easy to see the way that things are playing out as it is from an elevated view, and he decides to penalise just at the moment that the ball’s about to go, he blows the whistle, and then realises that a wonderful advantage was available.”

Howard Webb continued, “And for sure, he was devastated. He refereed the game really well for 93 minutes, but he knows that this is going to be the only talking point, really close to the end of the game.

“I understand the disappointment that Manchester City felt on this one because it would’ve been a wonderful advantage. He just formed the opinion to blow just at the wrong time. It looked like he was ready to play advantage… You never actually heard him shout advantage, and I asked him about the arm, he said he didn’t even realise he was doing it at the moment.”