Manchester City is facing charges for their failure to ensure proper player behavior during their match against Tottenham.
Pep Guardiola’s team is facing a charge for violating FA Rule E20.1, specifically for “surrounding the match official.”
The club has been accused of “failing to ensure their players do not behave in a way that is improper.”
The deadline for City to respond to the allegation is next Thursday, and if found guilty, they could face a substantial fine, potentially amounting to £40,000 or more.
In the contentious 3-3 draw at the Etihad Stadium, City players, including Haaland, expressed their frustration after referee Simon Hooper denied them a potential match-winning opportunity deep into stoppage time.
The controversy arose when Hooper initially allowed play to continue after a foul on Haaland by Tottenham’s Emerson Royal but later awarded a free-kick when Haaland set up Jack Grealish for a goal-scoring chance.
Haaland was the first to confront the referee, joined by Ruben Dias, Mateo Kovacic, and goalkeeper Ederson.
Even after the final whistle, Haaland continued to express his displeasure, engaging in a verbal altercation with Tottenham’s Giovani Lo Celso.
Haaland later shared the incident on social media, formerly known as Twitter, captioning the post with “WTF?”
A statement from the FA on Monday afternoon stated read, “Manchester City have been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20.1 after their players surrounding 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.”
“Manchester City have until Thursday 7 December 2023 to respond to the charge.”
Despite calls for action, the Football Association (FA) has decided not to escalate the matter any further.
Referee Simon Hooper booked Erling Haaland for his protests, addressing the on-field issue during the match.
Haaland’s subsequent social media post expressed frustration with the decision but did not involve any inappropriate comments towards the official, keeping within acceptable boundaries.
As part of a broader crackdown on player behavior this season by the Football Association, Premier League, and EFL, this incident marks the first charge in the top flight for surrounding the referee in the 2023/24 campaign.
City’s Bernardo Silva criticized the decision, stating, “It is a bad decision, and everyone saw it. But at the end, we are all humans.”
“The referee probably is the first one to know it was a very, very bad decision because he (Grealish) was one on one with the keeper, and it could have given us the three points.”
Referee Hooper is expected to continue officiating the Sheffield United vs. Liverpool match on Wednesday without being stood down.
With the draw, Manchester City has not won in their last three Premier League outings, currently sitting in third place in the division, three points behind leaders Arsenal.