Manchester United duo Luke Shaw and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not face any punishment following their comments about referee Stuart Attwell after Sunday’s draw with Chelsea.
In a game of few chances at Stamford Bridge, United felt they were denied a clear penalty in the goalless draw when Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle the ball inside the box.
Referee Attwell was called over to the pitchside monitor on the recommendation of VAR to look at the incident but opted not to award a penalty to the dismay of United’s players.
After the game in his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Shaw claimed Attwell had told teammate Harry Maguire that, while he felt it was a penalty, awarding it would ‘cause a lot of talk’.
Solskjaer then backed up his defender’s claims saying he had heard the same thing from his players, as well as launching an attack on rival clubs – including Chelsea – for trying to influence referees.
United quickly moved to say that Shaw had misheard what was said between Maguire and Attwell, with the comments potentially undermining the integrity of the referee.
However, The Times reports that, after reviewing footage from the interviews and reports filed from the match officials, the FA have decided against charging the United duo with misconduct.
It was felt that the comments did not violate disciplinary rule E3(1), which says a player should be charged if their comments imply an official is biased or attacks their integrity, while it would have been difficult to prove the charge to an independent panel.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Shaw had said: ‘The referee even said to H [Harry Maguire], I heard him say: “If I say it’s a pen then it’s going to cause a lot of talk about it after.” So I don’t know what happened there.
‘H said they got told it was a pen, he [the referee] got told it was a pen by VAR. So I’m not sure what’s gone on. I don’t understand why he’s stopped, if he’s stopped you would think he’s going to give a pen because we had the ball, we were attacking.
‘So it’s confusing with this VAR because… look, if it’s not going to be a pen they might as well just carry on the game and not stop the flow of the game. But I’m not going to moan about it because like I said, I don’t think either team did enough to win.’
After initially not wanting to reveal what Attwell had said ‘because that’s not going to be good for him’, Solskjaer did later confirm Shaw’s version of events.
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