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Wolves boss Gary O’Neil will miss Manchester City game in title boost

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O’Neil will be absent from the sidelines in the Premier League clash with Manchester City after being handed a one-match touchline ban.

The 40-year-old had a fiery outburst at a referee after their 2-1 defeat to West Ham last month, as Wolves saw Max Kilman’s late equalizer ruled out by VAR. O’Neil described the outcome as ‘possibly the worst decision I have ever seen’, which earned him an FA fine of £8,000 for inappropriate behaviour.

The charge focused on O’Neil’s actions towards referee Tony Harrington, who, guided by VAR, suggested a review of the monitor as Wolves’ Tawanda Chirewa appeared to block Lukasz Fabianski from an offside position before Kilman scored. O’Neil will be absent from the Wolves dugout on Saturday evening when they meet Premier League title-chasing City at the Etihad Stadium.

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An official FA statement read: “Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O’Neil has been suspended for one match and fined £8,000 following the Premier League match against West Ham United on Saturday 6 April 2024.

It was alleged that his language and/or behavior in or around the match officials’ dressing room after the match was inappropriate and/or threatening. Mr. O’Neil admitted the charge and the sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent regulatory commission.”

O’Neil admitted he approached Harrington after the final whistle but the conversation “didn’t go well” due to his heightened emotions over the incident. In the latest episode of ‘Match Officials Mic’d Up’, referee chief Howard Webb expressed his belief that the right choice had been made.