Man City boost for crunch title clash as Wolves boss Gary O'Neil handed touchline ban

Man City boost for crunch title clash as Wolves boss Gary O'Neil handed touchline ban

Wolves boss Gary O'Neil has been handed a one-match touchline ban and fined £8,000 for his outburst at a referee following a 2-1 defeat by West Ham on April 6.

O'Neil described the decision to disallow Maximilian Kilman's stoppage-time goal as "possibly the worst decision I've ever seen" and was hit with a Football Association charge for improper conduct.

It related to his behaviour towards referee Tony Harrington, who was advised by the VAR to check the monitor as Wolves substitute Tawanda Chirewa was stood in front of Lukasz Fabianski in an offside position and deemed to be impeding the West Ham goalkeeper before Kilman struck.

O'Neil accepted the charge and he will therefore be absent from Wolves' dugout when they visit the Etihad Stadium to face Premier League title-chasers Manchester City in the Saturday teatime kick-off.

A Football Association statement read: "Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O'Neil has been suspended from the touchline for one match and fined £8,000 following the Premier League fixture against West Ham United on Saturday, 6 April 2024.

"It was alleged that following the completion of the fixture, his language and/or behaviour in or around the match officials' changing room was improper and/or threatening.

"Mr O'Neil admitted the charge and the sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent regulatory commission."

Speaking after the game, O'Neil revealed he went to see Harrington at the full-time whistle.

But O'Neil said the conversation "didn't go well" because he was still too worked up over the incident.

Speaking about the incident in the latest episode of 'Match Officials Mic'd Up', referees' chief Howard Webb felt the correct decision was made.

"If you stay in that offside position right in front of the goalkeeper, you're going to have an impact," Webb told Sky Sports. "Most goalkeeping people I've spoken to at least expect this to be penalised."