Warnock reported for V-sign to City

CHRIS LAKEY Neil Warnock has been reported to the FA for the V-sign towards the Norwich City bench at the end of the Canaries 2-1 win over Sheffield United on Saturday.


Neil Warnock has been reported to the FA for the V-sign towards the Norwich City bench at the end of the Canaries 2-1 win over Sheffield United on Saturday.

The controversial Blades boss was caught by TV cameras making the gesture on the final whistle as Nigel Worthington and his coaching staff celebrated.

Warnock tried to explain away his actions in a post-match TV interview by saying he was ignored by Worthington when he went to shake his hand - but there was clearly several yards distance between the two of them at the time and a handshake was quite clearly made within seconds.

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Whether match referee Paul Taylor saw the incident or not is not known, but the FA said yesterday that they would know within “a day or two” if it was included in his match report.

However, Keith Hackett, head of the Professional Game Match Officials Board - who are responsible for providing match officials - confirmed yesterday that Warnock had been reported.

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“It was seen on TV and it has been reported and it is now in the hands of the FA,” he said.

The incident - which Worthington later described as unprofessional and disrespectful - happened after play had finished and went unseen by many supporters, although there were five pairs of officials' eyes to choose from.

“With incidents such as this, if any of the four match officials has not seen it, then the match assessor can report it,” he said.

The rules concerning players and managers are somewhat different: had a player made a similar gesture he could have found himself red-carded, even after the final whistle, but that option doesn't extend to a manager.

“Had it been seen during the course of a match the outcome would have been that the manager would have been sent to the stands,” added Hackett.

“Had it been a player who had committed an act of misconduct after the final whistle, on the pitch, the referee has to show a red card. But with the manager he can only report it, that's the basic difference between the two. The jurisdiction over players extends for some time after the final whistle.”

The incident involving Warnock came on a weekend of football which was shamed by similar incidents at Fulham's Craven Cottage as well as at Selhurst Park, where Ipswich's on-loan striker Ricardo Fuller was sent off for making a V-sign towards a linesman.

Town boss Joe Royle insisted Fuller's gesture was towards Crystal Palace fans, although that is unlikely to be much of a defence

It is unlikely that Fuller will succeed in having the red card rescinded - which could mean he has played his last match for Town.

Royle said: “I would love to keep Ricardo but finances will dictate what happens. He is on Premiership wages and I can understand the board's point of view.”

At Craven Cottage it was Chelsea's William Gallas whose thumbs-down gestures to Fulham fans as he walked off the pitch after being sent off, may lead to the FA asking for an explanation.

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