By Keith Hackett

13th Jan, 2022 | 11:00am

Ex-Fifa official 'happy and relieved' as FA decide Arsenal punishment

Arsenal damaged the image of the game in their 2-1 defeat to Man City earlier this month (1 January) and deserved to be hit with a fine from the Football Association, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed he was “relieved and happy” to see the FA take action.

FA Spokesperson relayed on Twitter last Thursday (6 January) Arsenal have been fined £20,000 after admitting to failing to control their players.

The charge relates to the conduct of the players after Man City were awarded a controversial penalty for Granit Xhaka’s challenge on Bernardo Silva.

It came after Arsenal were denied a penalty of their own for a challenge by Ederson on Martin Odegaard early in the first-half.

“The trigger point here is the referee reporting it,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“There’s a duty to the game and the image of the game because these types of incidents, particularly surrounding the referee to question his decision is not only putting his authority at risk but are sending the wrong message to grassroots football.

“I’m relieved and happy that Arsenal have been charged and fined but in fairness, they are not the only club. I think the FA need to be more consistent on this approach and so do the referees in reporting it.

“Referees are encouraged when there are three or more players to report the incident.”

Riyad Mahrez scored the resulting penalty before Rodri secured the three points for the Premier League champions deep into stoppage time.

It extended City’s unbeaten run over Arsenal to five games across all competitions.

In other news, a Finance guru has heaped praise on ‘phenomenal’ Arsenal after what he’s seen behind the scenes.