Soccer-Southampton’s Hasenhuettl charged for comments about official

LONDON (Reuters) – Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl has been charged with improper conduct by the FA for comments he made about official Mike Dean after his side’s 3-1 Premier League defeat at Chelsea this month.

Hasenhuettl complained about Dean, one of England’s top referees who was the video assistant referee for the game, over the decision to send off midfielder James Ward-Prowse following a VAR review.

Ward-Prowse had been booked by referee Martin Atkinson for a challenge on Jorginho but was shown a red card after Dean advised the official to review the incident on the pitchside screen.

Ward-Prowse was sent off when the score was 1-1 with 13 minutes remaining and Chelsea capitalised on their extra man to score two late goals and leave Southampton 17th in the standings after seven games and no wins.

“I knew when Mike Dean was on the VAR that the referee would go and have a look at it,” Hasenhuettl said.

In an interview with BBC Radio, the Austrian coach added: “I always have a bit of a problem when we know Mike Dean is on VAR because we don’t have a good history with him, to be honest.”

The FA said his comments “constitute improper conduct in that they questioned the integrity of the VAR match official and/or implied bias and/or bring the game into disrepute”.

Hasenhuettl has until Tuesday to respond to the charge.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)