EPL

FA seeks ‘formal observations’ from Forest trio over comments about officiating

By Sports Desk April 22, 2024

Nottingham Forest face the threat of Football Association and Premier League charges over their extraordinary attack on the officiating of their match against Everton on Sunday.

Three Forest members of staff – head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, referee analyst Mark Clattenburg and full-back Neco Williams – have been asked by the FA to explain comments they made about the refereeing at Goodison Park, while the Premier League is also examining the club’s social media post which appeared to question the integrity of VAR Stuart Attwell.

The statements from the authorities came within hours of Forest demanding the release of VAR audio related to the rejection of three penalty appeals during their 2-0 defeat.

Forest first issued a club statement on X on Sunday, minutes after the final whistle, in which they said they had “warned” referees’ chief Howard Webb that Attwell “is a Luton fan” but that no change was made to the match appointment.

The club went further on Monday evening and called on Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) to change its rules on officials’ allegiances to account for “contextual rivalries in the league table”, not just local rivalries.

The Premier League said it was “extremely disappointed” by the statement issued on Sunday and added: “It is never appropriate to improperly question the integrity of match officials, and the nature of these comments means the Premier League will also be investigating the matter in relation to the league’s rules.”

Sources have since told PA that Clattenburg did contact Webb on Friday to share that he thought Nuno might be asked about Attwell by the media, but that Forest did not raise Attwell’s appointment as a concern or make a request to change the appointment.

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