Erling Haaland Slams Referee in Social Media Outburst Following Controversial Decision – The Ankole Times

Erling Haaland Slams Referee in Social Media Outburst Following Controversial Decision

Monday, December 4, 2023
Erling Haaland could not hide his dismay at referee Simon Hooper's decision to pull the game back
Tukamushaba Eliab
3 Min Read

In a post-match social media tirade, Manchester City striker Erling Haaland has launched scathing criticism against referee Simon Hooper over a contentious decision that marred Sunday’s intense 3-3 draw against Tottenham at Etihad Stadium.

The controversial incident unfolded in the dying moments of the thrilling Premier League clash when Haaland, fouled in the fifth minute of stoppage time, managed to regain his footing and set up Jack Grealish with a goal-scoring opportunity. However, Hooper, initially waving play on, abruptly blew his whistle, pulling back the play for a City free-kick.

Haaland, visibly incensed by the decision, took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to express his frustration, reposting a clip of the incident with the comment “Wtf,” which is considered offensive slang.

The decision prompted protests from several City players, with Haaland continuing his protests even after the final whistle. The striker’s social media outburst has ignited discussions on the role of players in critiquing officials publicly.

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Manchester City’s players surrounded the referee at the final whistle

Pundits were quick to condemn the decision, with Jermaine Jenas describing it as an “absolute shocker” on the BBC’s Match of the Day 2. Leon Osman echoed the sentiment, acknowledging the mistake while emphasizing the magnitude of its impact on the game.

Former City defender Micah Richards criticized the inconsistency in refereeing decisions, stating, “If you’re in doubt, just leave the play to go on and you can always bring it back. That’s why City will feel aggrieved.”

While City manager Pep Guardiola maintained composure in his post-match interview, he subtly expressed his surprise at the referee’s decision. Guardiola highlighted the confusion surrounding the incident, with Hooper initially signaling to play on before ultimately pulling it back.

In response to Haaland’s animated protests, Guardiola stated, “It’s normal,” emphasizing that the disappointment was shared by all players, even if they wore the referee’s hat.

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou appeared unfazed by the controversy, stating that the refereeing decision was not the defining aspect of the game. He focused on the broader narrative of the thrilling encounter, emphasizing the positive storylines that emerged from the football spectacle.

As the debate around the contentious decision rages on, this incident adds fuel to the ongoing discussion on the role of technology in refereeing and the need for consistency in officiating across football competitions.

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