"I don't think it was a big thing." Pontus Jansson plays down TV comments after FA charge

Leeds United defender Pontus Jansson.
Leeds United defender Pontus Jansson.
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Pontus Jansson insisted the interview in which he vented his anger at referee Jeremy Simpson was not “a big thing” after he was charged with misconduct by the Football Association.

The Leeds United defender is facing a fine and has until 6pm on Wednesday to respond to the FA over a post-match interview in which he swore and accused Simpson of “robbery”.

Jansson turned on Simpson after a controversial performance from the Lancashire official in a 1-1 draw with Brentford at Elland Road before the international break.

Leeds were frustrated by Simpson’s award of a penalty to Brentford in the second half and his later decision to red card right-back Luke Ayling, despite having shown leniency to Brentford’s Moses Odubajo in similar circumstances.

Jansson, who scored in the 88th minute, was interviewed on the pitch by Sky after the final whistle and said the result “feels s**t”.

He was asked to control his language but replied: “I don’t care. This was a robbery from the referee so it feels bad. Do you think I should be happy? No chance.”

The FA confirmed yesterday that Jansson had been cited over his comments but speaking at a press conference ahead of Sweden’s Nations League game against Slovakia on Tuesday evening, he played down a saga which saw him apologise for swearing on Twitter a few hours after the game.

“I was forced to apologise,” Jansson told the Swedish media. “It’s clear that you must lead by example but I didn’t think that what I said was a big thing if I’m being honest.

“There are many emotions (in football) and I’m a player who plays with a lot. Things happen sometimes.”

The FA wrote to Jansson for his observations last week and began proceedings against him after taking the weekend to consider his remarks.

In a separate incident, Leeds were due to provide the FA with observations before the close of play yesterday over missiles thrown at Brentford striker Neal Maupay after he converted a 62nd-minute penalty.

The FA, however, caused frustration in Leeds by failing to charge Brentford winger Sergi Canos with violent conduct despite video footage showing him aiming a headbutt at Gjanni Alioski.

The clash was referred to a panel of three former match officials but their inability to reach a unanimous verdict on Canos’ guilt allowed him to escape a suspension.

Jansson, meanwhile, is back in Sweden’s squad having missed their 0-0 draw with Russia last Thursday as he and his wife awaited the birth of his first child.

Leeds are hopeful that the timing of the baby’s pending arrival will allow Jansson to play in Saturday’s Championship clash at Blackburn Rovers.