Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been asked by the FA to explain his pre-match comments on referee Anthony Taylor prior to Sunday’s 3-1 derby victory over United.
Under Premier League rules, managers are not allowed to speak about or pass comment on match officials prior to the match, but Guardiola responded to a question that suggested Taylor may be biased in United’s favour. Taylor hails from Wythenshawe, which contains a large contingent of United supporters, and there are rumours that the referee himself comes from a family of reds, an accusation Taylor denies by saying he supports non-league Altrincham.
Guardiola’s crime relate to references he made about the referee when he said “he is going to try to do the best job, like we try to as managers and football players.
“Mr Taylor is going to try and have a good game. The important thing is to focus on our game and, of course, knowing which opponent we are going to face and that is all. Hopefully he can make good decisions for both sides and it will be a good game. All England and all Europe is going to watch us. That is the most important pleasure.”
It is unclear which of Guardiola’s words are the crime which he has until 1800 on Thursday to respond to, or if it was just down to the fact that he mentioned the referee. If that’s the case, maybe journalists should be forbidden from asking questions relating to the match officials. It seemed like Guardiola was trying to quash rumours that Taylor would be biased and could be set to be punished for it.
What do you think? Were Guardiola’s words an attempt to influence the referee, or were they genuine? Let us know your thoughts.