Nuno Espírito Santo has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association over comments he made about the referee Lee Mason. The Wolves manager was highly critical of the official after his side’s Premier League match against Burnley on 21 December.
The FA said in a statement: “It is alleged that comments made by the head coach during a post-match interview constitute improper conduct as they were personally offensive to the match official and/or bring the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3.1.” Nuno has until 5 January to respond to the charge.
After his side lost 2-1 at Turf Moor, he said of Mason: “The referee does not have the quality to whistle a game in the Premier League. 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.
“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.”
On 23 December Nuno said he would discuss the matter with the FA on 29 December and that he would apologise only for the timing of his comments. Nuno said: “They were not in the best moment to come across because it could be a bad interpretation. For that I will apologise on my timing, but I won’t apologise for my words and thoughts.”