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Erling Haaland escapes as Man City gets FA hammer

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Erling Haaland has escaped punishment by the English Football Association for his reaction to referee Simon Hooper’s decision to halt play during Manchester City’s 3-3 draw against Tottenham on Sunday, but the Premier League champions have been charged with failing to control the behaviour of their players.

City forward Haaland responded to a video clip on X of Hooper’s decision not to allow Jack Grealish to race onto a through ball in the fourth minute of stoppage time at the end of the game, with the Norway international writing “Wtf.”

FA sources said Haaland’s post did not breach rules in relation to regulations covering media comments and social media activity.

Haaland, the Premier League’s leading scorer this season, has also avoided censure for angrily confronting Hooper on the pitch following the decision to blow the whistle when Grealish received the ball.

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The incident involving Haaland and Hooper is central to City being charged with a breach of FA Rule E20.1 in terms of the conduct of their players.

Haaland led a group of players, including Rúben Dias and Mateo Kovacic, who surrounded Hooper to protest against the decision.

In a statement, the FA said: “Manchester City have been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20.1 after their players surrounded the match official during the Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday 3 December 2023.

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“It’s alleged that, during the 94th minute of the fixture, the club failed to ensure their players do not behave in a way which is improper.

“Manchester City have until Thursday 7 December 2023 to respond to the charge.”

There are no signs that further charges will be brought against the players or coaching staff from either side .

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