Controversial referee Simon Hooper appointed for Norwich City’s clash with Derby

Referee Simon Hooper during Norwich City's match against Crystal Palace in August 2015. Picture: Pau

Referee Simon Hooper during Norwich City's match against Crystal Palace in August 2015. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Simon Hooper – the referee who was roundly criticised for disallowing Cameron Jerome's 'goal' on the opening day of last season – will take charge of Norwich City's match at Derby County on Saturday.

Hooper's involvement will no doubt be viewed as controversial given the circumstances of his last appearance in a Canaries game.

The Wiltshire official found himself at the centre of a storm when he disallowed an effort by Jerome on day one of the Premier League season, against Crystal Palace.

The official claimed Jerome's feet were dangerously high as he scissor-kicked the ball into the net – although replays suggested that the only element of danger was caused by Palace defender Damien Delaney, who made a deliberate movement towards the ball.

Minutes before the incident, Nathan Redmond had pulled a goal back for City, who were trailing 2-1 when Jerome's effort was disallowed, making the incident even more pivotal.


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City also had a penalty appeal rejected when Conor Wickham pushed over Sebastien Bassong and went on to lose the game 3-1.

Hooper – who is not one of the select group of Premier League officials – has not officiated in the Premier League since then, with his appearances restricted to Football League and cup competitions.

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The City game was his first in the top flight and afterwards it was questioned by former Premier League ref Mark Halsey who said at the time: 'The first weekend of the season is not the time to be trialing a Football League referee. By next week he'll be back in the Football League, this is just a one off game to see how he does.'

Hooper's assistants on Saturday will be Philip Dermott and Christopher Akers.

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