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Nottingham Forest v Man City: Guardiola does not ‘waste time’ on referees amid Attwell row

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Pep Guardiola says he does not “waste time” thinking about the identity of referees, following controversial statements made by Manchester City’s upcoming opponents Nottingham Forest.

Guardiola’s men travel to the City Ground this Sunday for a game which could have huge repercussions at both ends of the Premier League table.

It will be Forest’s first game since they issued a series of statements about official Stuart Attwell, who was the VAR when they saw three penalty appeals rejected in last Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Everton.

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After that game, Forest’s club account posted to X: “Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept.

“We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they didn’t change him. Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

The Premier League and the Football Association are both investigating Forest’s claims about Attwell, which they refused to row back from in the following days.

In another statement issued on Monday, Forest said the PGMOL’s rules on appointing officials should be changed to prevent those with ties to clubs with “contextual rivalries in the league table” – such as Luton Town’s battle for survival with Forest – from overseeing their rivals’ games.

Guardiola was asked about the controversy ahead of Sunday’s game, and he said he does not even bother to check who is refereeing City’s matches.

“I go to the game and I never ever know who is the referee,” he said. “When I see their face, it’s ‘oh, I remember that face’.

“I never in my life talked about the referees before, during or after [games], never ever, ever.

“A mistake can be a mistake and we are sad, and when it’s in our favour we are lucky. But I don’t waste my time.

“I have to economise, I have to choose exactly what I have to do with my time. I don’t spend one second thinking about referees, especially when we lose.”

Simon Hooper will take charge of Sunday’s game with Peter Bankes and Gary Beswick on VAR duty, with Attwell the man in the middle for Fulham’s clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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