Manchester United duo Luke Shaw and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will face no punishment for their comments on referee Stuart Attwell following Sunday’s draw with Chelsea.
In a game of few clear scoring chances at Stamford Bridge, United felt they were denied a clear penalty in the goalless draw when Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle the ball inside the box.
Referee Attwell was called to the court monitor on the recommendation of the VAR to view the incident, but chose not to impose a penalty to the consternation of the United players.
After the game in his post-game interview with Sky Sports, Shaw claimed that Attwell had told his teammate Harry Maguire that while he felt it was a penalty, awarding it “would cause a lot of conversation.”
“If it’s not going to be a penalty, l don’t think they needed to stop the game,” he said to Sky Sports after the game. “The ref even said to H [Harry Maguire] that if I say it is a pen then it is going to cause a lot of talk afterwards. H got told it was a penalty. I don’t understand why the game is stopped. It’s confusing with VAR.” Said Shawan
Solskjaer later backed up his defender’s claims saying that he had heard the same from his players, in addition to launching an attack on rival clubs, including Chelsea, for trying to influence referees.
United moved quickly to say that Shaw had misheard what was said between Maguire and Attwell, and that the comments could undermine the referee’s integrity.
However, The Times reports that after reviewing the footage from the interviews and reports submitted by party officials, the FA decided not to accuse the United duo of misconduct.
It was felt that the comments did not violate disciplinary rule E3(1), which says a player should be charged if their comments imply an official is biased or attacks their integrity, while it would have been difficult to prove the charge to an independent panel.