Premier League rules dictate that Sergio Aguero should have received a yellow card at the very least.
Sergio Aguero made his return to Premier League action on Saturday evening, starting for Manchester City against Arsenal, but his reaction to a contested throw-in in the first half caused quite the stir on social media.
After referee’s assistant Sian Massey-Ellis flagged for a throw to Arsenal, Aguero made it clear that he disagreed with the decision and even put his hand on the back of the official’s neck.
While Massey-Ellis appeared to dismiss the incident and continued on with the game, there were calls on social media for action against Aguero.
So errr what was #Aguero doing to Sian Massey-Ellis? 😡
— James Holden (@MrJames007619) October 17, 2020
In 2016, stricter rules on physical contact with match officials came into effect in England.
The updated regulations stated that a yellow card must be shown to any player who makes physical contact with an official in a non-aggressive manner while a red card would be the punishment for any physical contact with an official in an aggressive or confrontational manner.
Aguero escaped punishment although it remains possible that his conduct will be investigated after the match, which Man City won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Raheem Sterling in the first half.
The Premier League made their zero tolerance policy on aggressive conduct towards officials clear four years ago.
“We and our clubs have been discussing for some time concerns that certain elements of player behaviour are overstepping the mark and it is our collective position that these types of behaviour should no longer be tolerated,” then-Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said.
“Things happen in the heat of the moment during fast and highly competitive football; we still want to see the passion fans enjoy and demand, but players and managers have to be aware there are lines that should not be crossed.”
Man City manager Pep Guardiola defended Sergio Aguero following the game in his press-conference.
“Come on guys. Sergio is the nicest person I ever met in my life. Look for problems in other situations, not in this one.”