Jurgen Klopp is facing a potential second touchline ban of the season after his comments about referee Paul Tierney following Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Tottenham on Sunday. The German reacted to the late winner by sprinting over to fourth official John Brooks and celebrating in his face. Klopp had been unhappy with some of the decisions in the match, despite many pundits feeling the Merseysiders were fortunate to have finished the match with 11 men after Diogo Jota kicked Oliver Skipp in the head while Ibrahima Konate could have conceded a penalty.
Klopp then accused Tierney of saying something ‘unacceptable’ to him but refused to elaborate, however, refereeing body PGMOL quickly refuted his accusation, saying Tierney acted in a ‘professional manner throughout’. Audio from the referee’s microphone has now been reported to fully exonerate him, with one insider describing it as a ‘smoking gun’ which clears Tierney of any wrongdoing. The FA are still awaiting the referee’s report before announcing any formal charges, but the audio is likely to be made public at the end of a now very likely disciplinary case.
Former PGMOL boss Keith Hackett said of the incident: ‘John Brooks the fourth official at Anfield today should not have to put up with the unacceptable behaviour of Jurgen Klopp. The law is clear and if we are to get improvement of the technical area occupants then the law must be applied. Do not allow your authority to be eroded.’ PGMOL’s statement read: ‘PGMOL is aware of the comments made by Jurgen Klopp after his side’s fixture with Tottenham Hotspur. Match officials in the Premier League are recorded in all games via a communications system and having fully reviewed the audio of referee Paul Tierney from today’s fixture, we can confirm he acted in a professional manner throughout including when issuing the caution to the Liverpool manager so, therefore, we strongly refute any suggestion that Tierney’s actions were improper.’