The Football Association chose not to charge Luke Shaw after the Manchester United defender accused referee Stuart Attwell of refusing to award his team a penalty at Chelsea.
In a post-match interview, Shaw suggested that Attwell didn’t want to penalise Callum Hudson-Odoi for handball because the decision would have caused controversy – even though the Video Assistant Referee advised him to award the spot-kick.
The left back claimed to have overhead a conversation between Attwell and United captain Harry Maguire but later backtracked and said he had misheard their on-pitch exchange.
Having reviewed all the evidence, the FA concluded that the full-back had not breached any rules or regulations with his comments.
Referee Stuart Attwell didn’t award Manchester United a penalty after Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi handballed in the box – despite consulting the pitch side VAR monitor
Luke Shaw was confused by the decision and claimed during a post-match interview that Attwell admitted to United captain Harry Maguire that a penalty should have been given
Shaw said on Sky Sports: ‘The ref even said to H [Maguire], I heard him say “if I say it’s a penalty then it’s going to cause a lot of talk about it after”, so I don’t know what happened there. H [Maguire] said that they got told it was a penalty by VAR.’
Shaw risked a ban with his comments but the FA decided not to charge him.
Under FA regulations, any player comments that ‘imply bias or attack the integrity’ of match officials can lead to a misconduct charge under Rule E3(1).
There is no stock sanction for the charge but the FA, who had until Wednesday to make their decision, came to a swift conclusion. The verdict was determined by an independent regulatory commission.
Hudson-Odoi (right) handled the ball inside the Chelsea penalty box during the first half
Shaw’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added fuel to the fire with an explosive post-match interview of his own as the Norwegian insisted his team ‘100 per cent’ should have been awarded a spot-kick before accusing his fellow Premier League managers of influencing officials not to award United penalties.
Jurgen Klopp, Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho are among the managers to have commented on the number of penalties United are awarded.
Solskjaer also took aim at Chelsea’s in-house media team for an article on the official website prior to the clash that appeared to suggest Maguire has had key VAR rulings awarded in his favour this season.
‘Yes we were denied a penalty, 100 per cent,’ Solskjaer said.
‘I don’t understand why. When they stop it and he [Attwell] walks across, you can see it’s handball, it’s taken two points away from us.’
When asked about Attwell said to United players, Solskjaer replied: ‘I can’t say, because that’s not going to be good for him.
‘I don’t want to cause controversy, it’s not right is it?
Shaw said in his interview that Attwell had told United captain Maguire (right) the penalty would have caused too much controversy – but Shaw later backtracked
Man United fixtures
Premier League unless stated
Wednesday Crystal Palace (A)
Sunday Manchester City (A)
March 11 AC Milan (H)
Europa League last 16, first leg
March 14 West Ham (H)
March 18 AC Milan (A)
Europa League last 16, second leg
March 21 Leicester City (A)
FA Cup quarter-final
‘It’s all the outside influences, VAR talk before the game on Harry [Maguire] when they put that on the website. Cheeky.
‘That’s influencing referees. You can read what they’re saying about Harry Maguire and putting pressure on referees to give penalties against us.
‘Was it Frank [Lampard], that started it? Loads of talk about us getting penalties when there’s no doubt, and, of course, today we should’ve had a penalty.’
‘It’s gone now – but I’m a bit concerned we don’t get those penalties after what noises were being made about getting those penalties so clearly there is a point of managers influencing the referees which they shouldn’t do.
‘That’s the nature of us as managers – anything that goes against you you want to highlight. If something goes for other teams, you probably want to try to stop that. I trust the refs not be influenced by it.’
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel warned striker Tammy Abraham he needs to see a marked improvement from the England international after he was axed from the match-day squad.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Chelsea’s website attempted to influence referees
Abraham, who has been nursing an ankle niggle, remains the club’s top Premier League goalscorer this season but his future at Stamford Bridge is now under a cloud.
‘We have a strong squad, we only have Thiago Silva injured which means we have to take hard decisions.
‘We opted for Oli [Giroud] to begin, we had Timo [Werner] on the bench, Kai [Havertz] who can play as a No 9. So there was no need to bring a fourth No 9 to the pitch.
‘Things are a bit difficult for him, not as easy as they should be for him. It’s not his fault, it’s just the moment and he has our full support.
‘He needs to do exactly what he does, train well, be in a good mood and accept it. He is a striker for Chelsea so he has the highest competition in Europe. This is what you sign up for if you’re a player or coach for Chelsea. These moments arrive there’s no other answer but to fight for his place in the squad – and I’m sure he will do it.’