Gary O’Neil handed one-match touchline ban for referee outburst

Gary O'Neil speaks to referee Tony Harrington  after Wolves' defeat by West Ham

Wolves head coach Gary O’Neil has been hit with an immediate one-match touchline ban by the Football Association.

O’Neil will be suspended for Wolves’ Premier League match at champions Manchester City this weekend after being found guilty of improper conduct in the recent home defeat by West Ham.

Wolves were furious after a stoppage-time equaliser by Max Kilman was ruled out after a VAR check, with O’Neil then confronting referee Tony Harrington after the final whistle.

O’Neil described the decision as “scandalous” and “horrendous” and is understood to have spoken to Harrington in the official’s room.

In a statement announcing the charge, the FA alleged that O’Neil’s “language and/or behaviour in and or around the match officials’ changing room was improper and/or threatening.”

An independent three-person commission has ruled that O’Neil will be banned for one match, and also fined £8,000, and the FA could conside an appeal against the decision.

The FA has clamped down hard on perceived bad behaviour from managers this season and will review the written reasons before deciding whether to contest the initial decision.

O’Neil could face a longer ban if the FA concludes that a one-match suspension is not sufficient.

Earlier this month Burnley manager Vincent Kompany was given a two-match touchline ban – with the second match suspended – and fined after being charged with misconduct over his protests in last month’s 2-2 Premier League draw at Chelsea.

O’Neil and Wolves have suffered a string of contentious refereeing and VAR decisions this season.

After the home defeat by West Ham on April 6, Wolves chairman Jeff Shi took the unprecedented step of issuing a public statement.

Shi questioned whether technology is “really what football wants or needs” and urged the Professional Game Match Officials Limited [PGMOL] to focus on upholding the integrity of the Premier League.

Wolves are currently 11th in the table and face Manchester City at the Etihad this Saturday evening.

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