Sergio Aguero will not face any retrospective action for placing a hand on the left shoulder of assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis.
The action by the Argentinian striker during Manchester City’s win over Arsenal as it is not deemed by the PGMOL, the governing body for officials, to have been an aggressive or threatening action.
Of the talking points from yesterday’s games this one for me is the stand out
Agüero, after challenging a decision by Sian Massey-Ellis, puts his arm around her shoulder (ps - you should never touch an official)
However is this more than a player/official line being crossed... pic.twitter.com/QuAcJmQ2E8
— Jonathan Blakeley (@blakeleyjono) October 18, 2020
The incident happened in the 42nd minute of the first half at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Having argued his case with Massey-Ellis, he went on to put his arm around her shoulder as she began to walk away.
The official shrugged off Aguero’s move in its immediate aftermath and referee Chris Kavanagh did not penalise the player at the time.
If the referee had deemed this an offence, then Aguero could have been booked or possibly sent off.
The incident caused feverish debate online with many questioning whether Aguero would have acted in a similar manner had the official not been female.
However, following the game, Aguero's manager Pep Guardiola downplayed the incident.
At the post-match press conference, the Manchester City manager said: "Come on, guys. Sergio is the nicest person I ever met in my life. Look for problems in other situations, not in this one."
As well as the online criticism, his former team-mate Micah Richards told Sky Sports that the striker should "know better".
Rules introduced in 2016 mean players can be cautioned or sent off if they touch match officials, depending on the nature of the incident, but he did not receive any kind of punishment.
The incident overshadowed the game won by Manchester City 1-0, through a Raheem Sterling first-half goal. It was a first home win of the season for City who remain a place behind Arsenal in the table in sixth.