Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero is not expected to face any punishment after he was caught putting a hand on assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis during his side’s 1-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday.
Agüero was unimpressed with Massey-Ellis’ decision not to award him a throw-in during the game and placed his hand on her shoulder to discuss the decision, after which the official quickly moved to push his hand away.
It’s an incident which has attracted criticism for being unprofessional conduct towards an official, while many have been quick to label it as a sexist act, but according to Jamie Jackson, Agüero will face no punishment.
City boss Pep Guardiola defended his striker, insisting there was nothing to his actions and critics’ efforts should be focused on other issues.
“Come on guys. Sergio is the nicest person I ever met in my life,” he said (via Goal). “Look for problems in other situations, not in this one.”
Former Premier League referee Chris Foy admitted (via the Daily Mail) that it is not uncommon for players to come into contact with officials, but punishment will only be considered if a player is deemed to be aggressive.
“The key words are ‘aggressive’ and ‘confrontational’,” Foy said. “The laws state it’s not unusual for players to come into contact with officials.
“As long as this is done courteously and not in an aggressive or confrontational manner there is no requirement for a referee to take action.”
It was Raheem Sterling who grabbed City’s only goal of the game, firing past Bernd Leno midway through the first half to ensure City took all three points. Guardiola’s side now sit ninth in the Premier League table, six points behind leaders Everton.