Nottingham Forest first-team coach Steven Reid has been fined and given a two-game touchline ban for repeatedly calling referee Paul Tierney the C word after his side’s defeat to Liverpool. The Premier League fixture in March ended in angry scenes after Liverpool scored a 99th-minute winner to secure a 1-0 victory. Forest had been left aggrieved after a drop ball had been incorrectly awarded to Liverpool minutes before their winning goal was scored. Reid was dismissed after the final whistle for his comments towards Tierney, who alleged that Reid continued to use inappropriate language as he and his team of officials left the pitch.

The Independent Regulatory Commission released by the Football Association (FA) stated that Reid admitted to calling Tierney a “c***” and was fined £5,000 and given a two-game touchline ban. His behaviour was considered to be in breach of FA Rule E3.1, which prohibits improper conduct that brings the game into disrepute. Nottingham Forest was also fined £75,000 for failing to ensure that its players and technical area occupants conducted themselves in an orderly fashion. This represents the club’s eighth sanction for a breach of participant conduct since September 2018, with the commission noting “serious repetitive breaches.”

The incident that incited the misconduct occurred in the 97th minute when a drop ball was incorrectly awarded to Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher after Tierney stopped play to allow treatment to defender Ibrahima Konate, who appeared to have sustained a possible head injury. Forest winger Callum Hudson-Odoi had been in possession on the edge of the Liverpool box when play was stopped. Emotions ran high when Liverpool subsequently scored in the 99th minute, prompting a furious response from the Forest bench and owner Evangelos Marinakis, who followed the match officials into the tunnel.

Former FIFA and Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg, who was appointed by Forest as a match and performance analyst in February, addressed the media to explain the club’s frustrations with the decision. Both Forest and Reid argued that the situation was “unique and emotionally charged” following Tierney’s error that impacted the result. However, the commission stated that while it understood the context, it did not justify the misconduct. Forest was advised to take greater responsibility for the behavior of its players, and the club was directed to the Participant Charter to ensure compliance with FA rules and maintain proper conduct in the future.

Overall, the fine and touchline ban handed to Steven Reid, along with the substantial penalty imposed on Nottingham Forest, highlight the FA’s commitment to upholding standards of conduct and sportsmanship in professional football. The incident serves as a reminder to all participants in the sport to act in the best interests of the game and avoid behavior that can bring it into disrepute. While emotions may run high in competitive matches, it is essential for clubs and individuals to maintain composure and respect for match officials, regardless of the outcome of the game. By holding individuals and clubs accountable for their actions, the FA aims to promote a culture of fair play and integrity in football.

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