Jurgen Klopp has been given a two-match touchline ban and £75,000 fine over his comments on Paul Tierney following Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Tottenham at the end of April.
The Reds manager was quoted as saying ‘I don’t know what this man has against us’ after the referee booked him for his celebrations in the face of fourth official John Brooks in the midst of Diogo Jota’s stoppage time winner in that game, duly receiving an FA charge (Sky Sports).
On Thursday afternoon, the Football Association confirmed the punishment handed down to the 55-year-old over the remarks made about the whistler following the dramatic victory against Spurs.
An FA statement read: “Jurgen Klopp has been suspended from the touchline for two matches and fined £75,000 following media comments that he made after Liverpool’s Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday 30 April 2023.
“The first match of the manager’s touchline ban is effective immediately and the second is suspended until the end of the 2023/24 season on the condition that he does not commit any further breaches of FA Rule E3 in the meantime.
“Jurgen Klopp admitted that his comments regarding the match referee during post-match media interviews constitute improper conduct as they imply bias, question the integrity of the referee, are personal, offensive, and bring the game into disrepute.”
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The FA’s ruling means that Klopp won’t be able to stand on the touchline for Liverpool’s game against Aston Villa on Saturday, far from an ideal development with the Reds still chasing a top-four finish in the Premier League.
By his own admission, the German crossed a line with the manner of his celebration in Brooks’ face against Tottenham two-and-a-half weeks ago, but his comments on Tierney stem from a catalogue of frustration over some of the referee’s decisions on that day and in previous games.
The official let Oliver Skipp away without any sanction for a horrendous over-the-top lunge on Luis Diaz in the 4-3 win in April.
He’s also the same man who failed to send off Harry Kane for an awful challenge on Andy Robertson when the two teams met in December 2021, along with neglecting to give a stonewall penalty for a foul on Diogo Jota in a 2-2 draw that evening.
Tierney has certainly done Liverpool no favours with a few of his decisions (or indecisions) over the years, and even if Klopp’s behaviour was over the top, officials should face greater scrutiny when they continue to get the big calls wrong in such high-stakes matches.
Unfortunately for us, the manager will simply need to take his medicine and hope that his touchline ban won’t have too much of a detrimental effect against Villa at the weekend.
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