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BREAKING NEWS: Leeds United’s Pontus Jansson hit with one-match ban for referee comments

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Sweden international called the draw against Brentford a “robbery” on Sky TV

Leeds United v Brentford - Sky Bet Championship Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Leeds United central defender and Sweden international Pontus Jansson has received a one-match ban for his comments about the refereeing during the 1-1 draw with Brentford earlier this month.

Leeds United put out a statement on their official website, stating:

Leeds United accept the one match ban issued to Pontus Jansson following our game with Brentford earlier this month, purely due to the fact that the club sees no value in making an appeal.

All parties agree that the language used by Pontus in his flash interview after the game was inappropriate, however we also feel that a warning or a fine would have been a fairer outcome, especially given the following mitigating circumstances which we outlined to the FA in a letter following the charge:

1. Pontus is a passionate and committed professional. After playing 95 minutes of a full blooded game, which pundits described as “showcasing the best of the Championship”, Pontus was asked to “sum up his feelings”. Whilst his response was inappropriate and ill judged, it was a heartfelt and honest answer given in the heat of competition. There was no element of pre-meditation.

2. Pontus immediately regretted his response and issued a swift and public apology. He fully understands his responsibilities and the standards the FA and Leeds United hold him to, and accepts that on this occasion he briefly fell below those standards. Accordingly he immediately accepted the charge.

If the FA doesn’t want players to state their opinions after matches, then they shouldn’t allow Sky TV to interview players as they’re coming off the pitch. Issuing fines for the interviews is bad enough, but issuing bans because of comments is mind-boggling.

Remember, this is the same match that Brentford forward Ollie Watkins made an obvious dive to win a penalty and Sergi Canos headbutted Gjanni Alioski in front of the Brentford bench. Both incidents were caught on camera, and no action was taken on either offence.

It’s starting to become an unfunny joke. Does the “Dirty Leeds” reputation still apply here? Or is it that the FA hates Leeds? It seems like a conspiracy theory on face value, but incidents like these make it harder and harder to see it that way.

Anyway, let Jansson spend some time with his new daughter and if he’s going to serve a ban, it might as well be against bottom of the table Ipswich Town. Leeds won some of the first games of the season with Jansson resting up from the World Cup and he’ll step in against Nottingham Forest.