Ex-PL ref ‘amazed’ Bruno Fernandes avoided punishment for head loss moment during 7-0 Anfield thrashing

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Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett has admitted that he’s ‘simply amazed’ that Bruno Fernandes avoided any punishment after he appeared to push linesman Adam Nunn during the second half of Liverpool’s 7-0 defeat of Manchester United on Sunday.

The Portugal international, who was captaining Erik ten Hag’s side at Anfield, cut a frustrated figure for the majority of the game and was also involved in a number of embarrassing moments that saw him fall to the ground clutching his face after being touched on the chest by Ibou Konate and crying for a penalty after feeling minimal contact from Alisson Becker.

But it was the incident that saw the 28-year-old shove the assistant referee in the back that caught the attention of Hackett and the former official is bemused at the fact the FA have confirmed no action will be taken against the United star.

Hackett wrote in the Telegraph (via Express): “The people making the decision for him not to face punishment will need to look at their processes here. The incident was not deemed serious enough to put in the referees’ report on the game so Fernandes escaped – but you cannot, in any circumstances, put your hands on an official.

“I would ban any player for touching an official for one match, and then the punishment can be increased in line with the severity of the offence. We all saw the video – and the VAR did too – and you can see Fernandes’ frustration, you can see his arm bend into pushing the assistant.

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“He knew exactly what he was doing and him getting off sets the wrong precedent. I am simply amazed Fernandes does not face any further investigation or punishment and the FA have missed the point entirely – what message does this send out to officials, and players, at all levels?

“Players will look at Fernandes getting away with it and will feel they could do the same. And what about referees and assistants at grassroots level?

“What happens the next time Bruno Fernandes, or another player – at any level – loses their cool? They have seen that you can get away with it.”

Due to the fact that referee Andy Madley didn’t include the pushing incident in his post-match report it means that no further action can be taken against the former Sporting Lisbon man.

Fernandes’s antics were simply embarrassing throughout the game and to think he was captaining the side makes it even worse on what was the heaviest defeat the Red Devils have suffered during the Premier League era.

United host Real Betis in the last-16 of the Europa League tonight and ten Hag has confirmed he’ll stick by his No. 18 despite his performance at the weekend – it’ll be interesting to see how he conducts himself against the Spanish outfit.

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