Nottingham Forest have formally lodged a complaint regarding the officiating during their Premier League match against Manchester United at Old Trafford on August 26, 2023.
Despite taking an early 2-0 lead in the intense encounter, Forest faced a turnaround as Manchester United’s midfield trio—Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, and Bruno Fernandes—netted goals to secure a 3-2 victory, relinquishing the control Forest had exerted.
The decisions made by center referee Stuart Attwell and his assistants, both on the touchline and in the VAR booth, left Forest in utter disbelief.
Reports in the UK media indicate that the visiting team left Old Trafford seething and have formally lodged a complaint with the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the governing body for English referees.
Evangelos Marinakis, the club’s owner, and head coach Steve Cooper have personally contacted PGMOL chief Howard Webb to express their grievances.
The core of their complaint centers around a series of referee Attwell’s decisions during the game.
According to Forest’s complaint to PGMOL, Attwell, a 40-year-old referee, made a series of decisions that significantly impacted the outcome of the match, all to the detriment of Forest.
One particularly contentious decision involved the straight red card shown to Forest’s captain, Joe Worrall, for his challenge on United’s Fernandes in the 67th minute.
Forest contest the call, pointing out that Worrall’s defensive partner, Willy Boly, seemed to be covering the situation.
Another pivotal moment occurred nine minutes later when the officials awarded a penalty to the hosts after Marcus Rashford went down in the box following a challenge from Danilo.
Despite undergoing a VAR review, both decisions were upheld.
Fernandes successfully converted the ensuing penalty, securing a crucial 3-2 victory for The Red Devils.
This win marked only the third instance in history that Manchester United has secured a Premier League victory at Old Trafford after trailing by a two-goal margin.
Attwell and Jones handed referring duties despite Forest’s complaint
Despite Nottingham Forest lodging a complaint, the Premier League has gone ahead and appointed Stuart Attwell and Rob Jones to officiate matches this upcoming weekend.
For now, the league has opted to overlook the complaint, and both Attwell and Jones have been given assignments for the fourth round of matches in the season.
Worth noting, Jones was the VAR official during Forest’s previous loss. Stuart Attwell’s responsibility will involve refereeing the Brighton versus Newcastle match on Saturday.
Subsequently, he will serve as the VAR official for the Wolves’ away game against Crystal Palace at 2 pm on Sunday.
Interestingly, it is Rob Jones who will take on the role of the referee for that particular match.