Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp charged by FA for questioning integrity of referee Kevin Friend

Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp charged by FA for questioning integrity of referee Kevin Friend

The Liverpool manager is accused of breaking FA rules for his comments in a post-match interview after his side’s contentious 1-1 draw with West Ham

The Football Association (FA) has charged Jurgen Klopp for his comments about referee Kevin Friend following Liverpool’s draw with West Ham on February 4.

The Liverpool manager has been accused of breaching FA Rule E3 with his remarks about the official after the Premier League match.

Klopp appeared to suggest Friend favoured the home side in 50-50 decisions in the second half of the 1-1 draw at London Stadium.

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The Reds went ahead through a Sadio Mane goal but the officials failed to spot James Milner in a clear offside position in the build-up, something which Klopp suggested influenced Friend’s decision-making in the rest of the game.

The coach’s frustration was on display after the game in his animated discussions with West Ham counterpart Manuel Pellegrini and the match officials before heading down the tunnel.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “There were so many situations where it was 50-50 or 60-40… [he gave a] free-kick for the other team. As a human being, I know if I make a big mistake in the first half, I don’t want to open the gap even more.”

Klopp continued to BBC Sport that day: “Apparently our goal was offside and maybe the referee knew that in the second half. It’s a point and it’s a fair point.”

The FA then asked the coach to explain his comments the following day and have since issued a charge against him.

The governing body said in a statement on Wednesday: “Jurgen Klopp has today been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3.

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“It is alleged that comments he made in a post-match interview following Liverpool’s league game against West Ham United on February 4 2019 breached Rule E3(1) as they questioned the integrity of the match referee and/or implied bias.”

Klopp has been given until 1800 local time (GMT) on February 18 to respond to the charge.

Liverpool’s next match in the Premier League is on February 24, when they head to Old Trafford to face fierce rivals Manchester United. Klopp’s men sit level on points with Manchester City at the top of the table, with Pep Guardiola’s men enjoying a better goal difference.

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