Wolves boss O’Neil handed one-match touchline ban

Wolves manager Gary O’Neil has been handed a one-match touchline ban and an £8,000 fine for his conduct following this month’s 2-1 Premier League defeat by West Ham.

O’Neil was furious Max Kilman’s 99th-minute leveller was ruled out after Tawanda Chirewa was adjudged to be offside and blocking Lukasz Fabianski, therefore interfering with play.

Video assistant referee (VAR) Tim Robinson recommended a review, after which referee Tony Harrington disallowed the goal and O’Neil called it “one of the worst decisions I’ve ever witnessed”.

The Football Association (FA) confirmed O’Neil admitted the charge and will not be allowed in the dugout for 11th-placed Wolves’ trip to title-chasing Manchester City on Saturday.

An FA statement read: “Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O’Neil has been suspended from the touchline for one match and fined £8,000 following the Premier League fixture against West Ham United on Saturday, 6 April 2024.

“It was alleged that following the completion of the fixture, his language and/or behaviour in or around the match officials’ changing room was improper and/or threatening.

“Mr O’Neil admitted the charge and the sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent Regulatory Commission.”

He was charged with “improper and/or threatening” behaviour with the FA saying it related to O’Neil’s alleged language “around the match officials’ changing room”.

O’Neil said he went to see Harrington after the final whistle but was so angry the official refused to speak to him.

“I wasn’t able to control my emotion well enough to get an explanation,” O’Neil said after the game. “The referee said he would rather not discuss it given how I was acting.

“If you are a Premier League official working at the highest level, I would be really disappointed if you thought that was offside.

“The only way that can be offside is if he stops Fabianski’s ability to move or impedes his vision. Only the referee and VAR think that could possibly be offside.”

However, the Key Match Incidents panel – the five-person independent committee which reviews all ‘key’ decisions made by Premier League referees and VAR after each round of matches – agreed unanimously with the officials’ decision of offside.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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