The Football Association is ready to bring in tough punishment for clubs who criticise referees after Arsenal released a statement supporting Mikel Arteta’s rant against officials earlier this month.
Following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United, the Spaniard described the decision to allow Anthony Gordon’s winning goal as a ‘disgrace’ and ‘embarrassing’ in a lengthy tirade.
On Thursday evening, the FA confirmed they had charged Arteta for a breach of Rule E3.1, saying his comments ‘constitute misconduct as they are insulting towards match officials and/or detrimental to the game and/or bring the game into disrepute.’
Arteta has until Tuesday 21 November to provide a response to the charge and there is a strong chance Arsenal could contest it given the statement they released supporting their manager’s comments and calling for PGMOL to ‘urgently address the standard of officiating’ in the Premier League.
Arsenal’s statement was unconventional to say the least and, according to The Telegraph, the FA are ‘hugely concerned’ by their decision to publicly back Arteta in such a way.
The FA intend to meet with representatives of the leagues as well as the managers association to warn that regulatory action will be taken against clubs if they support managers who criticise referees.
They are worried by the continually increasing disrespect being shown towards officials – which is contributing to a lack of people wanting to become referees – and will now ‘draw a line in the sand’ following Arsenal’s statement.
It is unclear whether Arsenal will face regulatory action as a result of their statement, but any subsequent statements of that ilk – by the Gunners or others – will face a strong response.
Arsenal find themselves in a particularly difficult position because PGMOL do not believe any error was made in the process of Gordon’s goal being awarded.
It was actually the subject of focus in the latest Match Officials Mic’d Up programme, in which the VAR audio from the match was shared, with the VAR team unable to find definitive angles that showed whether the ball had gone out of play and if Gordon had been offside.
Both the VAR Andy Madley and assistant VAR Stuart Burt also felt there was insufficient contact from Joelinton on Gabriel Magalhaes to constitute a foul and thus overturn the on-pitch decision.
The Premier League’s Independent Key Match Incidents Panel also reviewed the decision and voted 4-1 that the officials were correct not to disallow the goal.
Arsenal and Arteta were also unhappy that Bruno Guimaraes was not sent off, a decision which PGMOL chief Howard Webb conceded they got wrong, though the Key Match Incidents Panel were unanimous that Kai Havertz should have been sent off earlier in the match.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. All rights and credits reserved to respective owner(s).