Home » Former referee makes bizarre claim that Bruno Fernandes escaping punishment led to Aleksandar Mitrovic incident

Former referee makes bizarre claim that Bruno Fernandes escaping punishment led to Aleksandar Mitrovic incident

by Ayantan Chowdhury

There was a huge uproar for Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes to be banned for pushing the linesman during the club’s rout at the hands of fierce rivals Liverpool.

The referee had no mention of this in his match report and ex-referee Dermot Gallagher also pointed out at the time that the linesman pushed Fernandes first.

“You don’t want a player to be manhandling a match official but I would suggest that the assistant actually manhandled Fernandes more than he did,” Gallagher was quoted as telling Sky Sports.

Fernandes & Mitrovic incidents linked

And despite being over two weeks old, the incident has once again hit the spotlight following Aleksandar Mitrovic’s sending off against United for manhandling the referee.

There have been calls from former referees and players to punish the Serb beyond the norm and that his long ban should serve as a warning to other professionals from touching the referee.

Mitrovic has been charged by the FA and their statement has mentioned that a standard punishment will be “clearly insufficient”.

Ex-Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett has come up with his own observation according to which Fernandes escaping punishment was the reason Mitrovic did what he did to referee Chris Kavanagh.

Hackett told Football Insider, “The FA set the wrong tone by refusing to punish Fernandes two weeks ago. This has now escalated things. There wasn’t the venom we saw with Mitrovic, but it set the example that it’s ok to lay your hands on a match official.

“Fernandes should have been banned”

“Therefore, it should have been reviewed, it should have been looked at – whatever the punishment was. If Fernandes would have been banned, even for a game or two – then it would have sent the right message.

“Instead, just a couple of weeks down the road we’re looking at a much worse incident because it’s been allowed to escalate.”

How certain sections keep hammering United for one reason or the other remains a mystery. Even Fulham’s manager Marco Silva had admitted that Mitrovic was wrong for doing what he did.

While Fernandes’ act was petulant, it was nowhere close to being as dangerous as what the Fulham man did in the FA Cup.


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