‘Ganajeon that referee’ swore at the fine+discipline

Matt Hobbs, the sporting director of Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves), has been suspended for one match for using abusive language towards a referee.

The referee in question was referee Anthony Taylor. Taylor is a referee with a reputation for making controversial and incorrect calls. At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he was widely criticized for ending the second half of a group stage match between South Korea and Ghana without completing the full extra time.

At the time, Ghana was winning 3-2 and South Korea was preparing to take a corner kick for a final attack, but the referee blew the whistle immediately. There were even about seven seconds left before the full 11 minutes of extra time was used up, allowing them to take a corner and attack.

Taylor also refereed the Newcastle United-Wolverhampton match in the 10th round of the 2023/24 English Premier League. In that match, he awarded Newcastle a penalty in first-half stoppage time after Hwang Hee-chan made a rough tackle on Newcastle defender Fabian Schurrle while defending a Newcastle corner kick.

All of the overseas soccer pundits covering the game at the time argued that Hwang’s foot did not touch Cher’s and that it was not a penalty, but Taylor took a long look at the video assistant referee (VAR) and shocked everyone by choosing the opposite.

As a result, the Wolves went into halftime down 1-2. Hwang Hee-chan, who was still reeling from conceding the penalty, scored the equalizer in the 26th minute of the second half to draw the game.

Taylor was punished with a demotion to the second division after the game. It was acknowledged that the penalty call against Hwang was a mistake. Taylor spent about a week as a second division referee before returning to the Premier League for the Manchester City-Chelsea Round 12 match.

In response, Hobbs lost his temper and used profanity against Taylor.

“Hobbs has been handed a one-match ban for swearing at Taylor, calling him ‘a lowly, worthless bird X as usual,'” global sports outlet The Athletic reported on Tuesday.

The charge was decided at a hearing held by the English Football Association (FA) earlier this month. At the hearing, Taylor claimed that “Hobbs directed the abusive language at him as he was leaving the pitch after the match” and that “Hobbs’ behavior was extremely disappointing and unacceptable to the referee himself, the assistant referees Adam Nunn and Gary Beswick.” Hobbs reportedly responded by saying, “I hope Taylor apologizes again.”

“The FA has handed Hobbs a one-match ban and a £4,000 fine for breaching Rule E3.1,” according to The Athletic. According to the FA’s Rule E3.1, making derogatory remarks about a target or targets racial background, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, etc. is considered a “deteriorating factor” in football culture and can be punished.

Hobbs has now reportedly completed his suspension and paid the fine.

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