Southampton striker Charlie Austin has escaped punishment for his emotional criticism of the match officials involved in a 1-1 draw with Watford last weekend - a month after Leeds United’s Pontus Jansson was hit with a one-match ban for accusing a referee of “robbery”.
An angry Austin said Simon Hooper and his assistants had “cost us two points” after they disallowed a second-half strike from the forward for offside.
Hooper adjudged that Austin’s finish - converted while Southampton were leading 1-0 - had deflected into the net off defender Maya Yoshida, who was standing in an offside position.
Speaking afterwards, Austin said: “It's ridiculous. They shouldn't be in the game. They get a point. We scored a perfectly good goal to make it 2-0 and the game is done and dusted. We won the game but the officials cost us two points.
“They said it was offside. They said it hit Maya but it didn’t. I hit it twice. It hit me and bobbed up. That's why it’s done (Watford goalkeeper Ben) Foster. It's a joke.
“You go on about VAR this and VAR that, help the officials out. Clearly they need help.”
The Football Association has chosen not to charge Austin despite imposing a suspension on Jansson for the outburst which followed Leeds’ 1-1 draw with Brentford on October 6.
Jansson criticised referee Jeremy Simpson after the Lancashire official awarded a controversial penalty and failed to send off Brentford’s Mose Odubajo for a foul similar to one which earned United’s Luke Ayling a red card in injury-time.
Jansson swore in a live television interview at full-time and said: “This was a robbery from the referee so it feels bad. Do you think I should be happy? No chance.”
The FA charged Jansson with misconduct and hit him with a one-match ban and a £1,000 fine, forcing him to miss the club’s 2-0 win over Ipswich Town on October 24.
Jansson pleaded guilty but Leeds vented frustration with what they saw as a disproportionate sanction, saying: “All parties agree that the language used by Pontus in his flash interview after the game was inappropriate.
“However, we also feel a warning or a fine would have been a fairer outcome, especially given the mitigating circumstances which we outlined to the FA in a letter following the charge.”
The FA has been approached by the YEP for comment.