Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett has called on the FA to charge and ban Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes for an incident during Sunday’s 7-0 loss to Liverpool.
In the second half, Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold produced a slide tackle to win the ball from Fernandes, sending the ball out for a United goal kick in the process.
But he was then confronted by the Portuguese midfielder, before assistant referee Adam Nunn stepped in to mediate between both players.
He made contact with the arm of Fernandes, before the 28-year-old then appeared to push Nunn in the back as he returned to the field of play.
🗣️ “I don’t condone it”
Dermot Gallagher discusses the incident between Bruno Fernandes and Andy Madley in Manchester United’s 7-0 loss to Liverpool 🔴 pic.twitter.com/c8MQ2DxcqL
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 6, 2023
The FA decided not to take formal action against Fernandes, as per the Daily Mirror, due to the fact that match referee Andy Madley saw the incident, did not punish the midfielder during the game and did not include it in his post-match report.
But Martin Cassidy, the chief executive of referees charity Ref Support UK, called for Fernandes to be given a five-game ban.
He told PA: “To get in contact with a match official is a serious offence and should be treated such way. I think that [five-game ban] would be absolutely appropriate.
“There’s got to be a strong message here that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable at any level at all, and I hope the Football Association make that clear.”
PL referee wants ban for Man Utd star Fernandes
Meanwhile, Hackett, who officiated Premier League matches between 1992 and 1994, also believes that the FA should be taking action against the United midfielder as a result of the incident.
Writing in his column for the Daily Telegraph, Hackett said: “I am concerned and disappointed that the Football Association has seen Bruno Fernandes’ push on an official and glossed over it.
“At the very least, Fernandes needs to be charged by the FA and to then go through the disciplinary processes. What is the message being sent out here, with no further action taken?
“The people making the decision for him not to face punishment will need to look at their processes here.
“The incident was not deemed serious enough to put in the referees’ report on the game so Fernandes escaped – but you cannot, in any circumstances, put your hands on an official.
“I would ban any player for touching an official for one match, and then the punishment can be increased in line with the severity of the offence.
“We all saw the video – and the VAR did too – and you can see Fernandes’ frustration, you can see his arm bend into pushing the assistant. He knew exactly what he was doing and him getting off sets the wrong precedent.”