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Pep Guardiola warned for referee comments

stopper: Guardiola
broke FA rules by
discussing the
referee pre-match

MANCHESTER City manager Pep Guardiola has avoided a Football Association charge but was formally warned over comments he made about referee Anthony Taylor ahead of this month’s Manchester derby.

Guardiola went against FA rules by answering questions about the suitability of the appointment of the Cheshire official for the game at the Etihad.

Although Guardiola backed Taylor and dismissed accusations of potential bias towards United, managers are not permitted to talk about referees in the build-up to matches.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was fined £50,000 in November 2016 for talking about Taylor (pictured) before his side’s clash with Liverpool at Anfield, but he was already on notice having previously been warned for a similar offence during his time at Chelsea. Because this was Guardiola’s first such offence, and the nature of his comments was regarded as largely neutral, it is understood an FA charge was not deemed necessary.

Guardiola said: ‘The referee doesn’t want to make a mistake because he knows everybody around the world is going to watch him. If he is a fan of United or City — everybody can be a fan of whoever he wants so no problem.’

Taylor was widely praised for his performance in the match earlier this month, which Premier League leaders City won 3-1.