5 Times Simon Hooper Angered Premier League Fans With Controversial Decisions

Published 12/03/2023, 9:51 PM EST

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via Reuters

Tottenham’s game with Manchester City that took place on December 3 was the definition of a box office. However, there was one controversial incident involving referee Simon Hooper that drew a lot of attention. Even the usually cool-headed Manchester City striker Erling Haaland was left raging at the referee.

Hooper’s decision was quite pivotal in the game as it came a few moments after Tottenham’s late equalizer. While undoubtedly a controversial decision by the referee, it is not the only time Hooper’s decision has left the fans and players scratching their heads. In the wake of this controversy, let’s look at five of Hooper’s questionable decisions, including the Earling Haaland incident.

1. Manchester City vs. Tottenham 2023/24 (12/03/2023)


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In the 95th of the Manchester City-Tottenham game, Erling Haaland was fouled. However, the striker managed to keep the possession and passed the ball to winger Jack Grealish who was through on goal. There was no offside and Simon Hooper initially looked to continue the play. However, the English referee blew the whistle and awarded the Sky Blues a free-kick.

via Reuters

This infuriated Haaland. As per reports, he appeared to scream, “F**k off! F**k off!” He even took to social media to criticize the decision and wrote, “Wtf”.


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Manager Pep Guardiola was more composed as he stated that humans make mistakes in the post-match press conference.

2. Brighton vs. United 2020/21 (09/26/2020)

Brighton’s match against Manchester United in 2020 had a controversial moment involving Simon Hooper. When the match was 2-2, the referee whistled to end the game. However, captain Harry Maguire insisted on a handball during the final moment of the match.

Interestingly, the VAR for the match was Simon Hooper, who consulted with Kavanagh and the decision was reviewed. United were awarded a penalty and won the game.

3. Liverpool vs. Tottenham 2023/24 (09/30/2023)

In the Liverpool-Tottenham game, Simon Hooper was involved in a lot of controversy as he red-carded Curtis Jones for a soft red card.

Moreover, Luis Diaz also saw a goal ruled out. What infuriated many was that the mistake was never rectified. It took place because of a miscommunication, where VAR officials Darren England and Dan Cook believed the on-field decision was a goal. In a hurry, they gave Hooper a nod. As a result, Liverpool was robbed of a point.

Further, Midfielder Macallister was also given a soft yellow card. Definitely not one of Hooper’s best games!

4. Manchester United vs. Wolves 2023/23 (08/15/2023)

The season opener saw Wolves being denied a clear penalty by Simon Hooper after Andre Onana smashed into two Wolves players. This led to Simon Hooper being omitted from a week’s duty.

Hooper had waved away the on-field protests before a VAR check was done by officials at Stockley Park. However, rather than request the referee to re-watch the incident, his initial decision was upheld. Wolves’ boss Gary O’Neil was not too happy about this.


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5. Southampton vs. Watford 2018/19 (11/10/2018)

In his fourth Premier League game, Hooper wrongly dismissed a goal. This was Hooper’s fourth Premier League game. In the same game, he also decided to not award Nathaniel Chalobah a penalty after being brought down by Ryan Bertrand. This even prompted former referee Dermot Gallagher to talk about it.

“I think it’s a penalty,” he said and disagreed with Hooper.


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Technology has been infused into sports for more seamless decision-making. Referees can re-check when needed. But such mistakes seem to rub players and fans in the wrong manner. What are your thoughts on Hooper’s decision yesterday? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Adithya Narayanan


One take at a time

Soccer was the first sport I played in my life. It turned out to be my favorite one by an absolute mile. In my younger days, I became a Liverpool fan but it was only when Jurgen Klopp arrived that my passion for the game intensified.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das