FA seeks observations from Wolves over Nuno blast at referee

FA investigate Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo after his extraordinary outburst at Lee Mason, claiming the referee ‘doesn’t have the quality’ for Premier League games and ‘cannot control players’ after Burnley defeat

  • Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo was stinging in criticism of Lee Mason
  • Mason took charge of their 2-1 Premier League defeat at Burnley on Monday
  • Nuno said Mason didn’t have the quality to take charge of top-flight matches
  • He added that he didn’t want the official to be involved in another Wolves game
  • The FA has contacted Wolves for observations on the manager’s comments 

The Football Association has sought observations from Wolves after their manager Nuno Espirito Santo slammed referee Lee Mason after their defeat at Burnley on Monday night.

Nuno questioned Mason’s fitness to take charge of a Premier League fixture, saying he ‘clearly doesn’t have the quality’ and ‘cannot control the players.’

He also said he hoped Mason doesn’t ever take charge of a Wolves fixture again in stinging comments broadcast on Sky Sports.

Nuno Espirito Santo claimed Lee Mason isn’t good enough to be a Premier League referee

The Wolves manager made the comments about Mason following his side’s defeat to Burnley

The FA have now asked the Molineux club for their observations on Nuno’s comment and it’s possible the Portuguese manager could face disciplinary action.

Wolves lost 2-1 at Turf Moor and Nuno said afterwards: ‘The referee does not have the quality to whistle a game in the Premier League.

‘This is a problem that we knew – we had Lee Mason before.

‘It is not about the crucial mistakes or decisions, it is about the way he handles the game.

‘The players get nervous, too much voices, he whistles by the voices when some players are shouting.

Nuno revealed that he told Mason after the game that he doesn’t want to see him anymore

‘We are talking about the best competition and clearly he doesn’t have the quality to whistle the game. I’m very disappointed to say this but I would not feel right if I didn’t say it.

‘I just don’t want to see him more – that’s what I told him. I hope he doesn’t whistle a game of ours again because all the games we have with Lee Mason are always the same.

‘He cannot control the players, the players are constantly arguing – both teams. With all the other referees the game flows, there’s dialogue. He’s just not ready to do it.’ 

Fabio Silva’s first Premier League goal – an 89th-minute penalty – was too little too late for a Wolves side who lacked cutting edge in the continued absence of Raul Jimenez as Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood scored for the hosts.

Wolves were arguably lucky to finish the game with 11 men after a stoppage-time VAR check when Joao Moutinho appeared to kick out at Josh Brownhill but, though that decision went in their favour, Nuno questioned Mason’s fitness to referee in the top flight.

Burnley celebrate after Chris Wood scored what proved to be the decisive goal against Wolves

Ashley Barnes is delighted after his goal put Burnley in the ascendancy at Turf Moor 

Silva showed impressive composure as he scored the penalty but Burnley held on to win

Post-match comments about a referee’s performance are permitted under FA regulations provided they do not imply bias, attack an official’s integrity, are not personally offensive, prolonged or particularly unreasonable.

Such incidents do not always lead to an FA charge, which would be based on a decision around the seriousness of the case and the track record of the individual who made the comments.

The FA may choose to issue a formal warning, remind the individual of their responsibilities or take no action. 

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