Jurgen Klopp has been charged by the Football Association following comments he made about referee Paul Tierney after Liverpool’s dramatic 4-3 victory against Spurs on Sunday. The German coach was shown a yellow card in stoppage time after charging over to fourth official John Brooks and celebrating in his face following Diogo Jota’s last-gasp winner. Klopp then accused Tierney of having an agenda against both himself and Liverpool before claiming the referee had said something that ‘was not okay’ when brandishing the yellow card that he refused to elaborate on. Following his remarks, the FA said in a statement on Tuesday: ‘Liverpool FC’s Jurgen Klopp has been charged following their Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur FC on Sunday 30 April. It is alleged that the manager’s comments regarding the match official during post-match media interviews constitutes improper conduct in that they imply bias, and/or question the integrity of the referee, and/or are personal/offensive, and/or bring the game into disrepute. Jurgen Klopp has until Friday 5 May to provide a response.’ Refereeing body PGMOL have also issued a statement defending Tierney, saying he acted in a ‘professional manner throughout’ the exchange, while the audio of the conversation has been described as a ‘smoking gun’ that completely exonerates the official.
Speaking about the incident on Tuesday, Klopp said: ‘The whole situation shouldn’t have happened at all, that’s how it is. It was out of emotion, it was out of anger in that moment – never a good leader for the things you do. That’s why I celebrated the way I celebrated. There was the situation with the foul on Mohamed Salah – well, no foul but a foul [according to the referee]. It was directly in front of my eyes so I saw it was no foul but he whistled for it anyway, free-kick, another free-kick and then the goal and then a minute later we score. So usually that should be a moment where you just be happy that you scored a goal, but unfortunately I was still kind of angry and that lead to the way I celebrated. I didn’t say anything wrong. I was shouting, ‘Without you, without you!’ – It doesn’t even make a lot of sense, but that was all. Paul Tierney came over to me and I didn’t expect at all a red card, to be honest. I know I had a red card not too long ago and I didn’t expect for a second a red card because I didn’t feel that it was right. I expected a yellow card in that moment and he said to me, ‘For me it’s a red card but [it’s only yellow] because of him [the fourth official]’. That’s what I understood. It was loud in the stadium. But, ‘Because of him it’s yellow’ – he showed me a yellow card, smiled to my face, that’s it.
I didn’t [say anything really]. ‘Red card? For what?’ – that’s how I left. Stood there and left. Final whistle, we go inside, tried to calm down, didn’t work out properly, go into all the interviews and then I said what I said. Things that were made of, about what Paul Tierney said to me, I didn’t say. I said, ‘What he said to me was not OK’ and actually I thought it was not OK because it was not a red card in my view. And then things happened, and I understand, I opened the box with that. It was not intentional but obviously I opened it. And your colleague stepped into it and wanted me to carry on and he said all these words like ‘inappropriate’ or whatever words he used, and I didn’t respond to it. And now I stop it here.
Maybe I should have said in that moment that he told me it was a red card and I didn’t think it was, stuff like this, but then from that moment on I realised I opened a box that I didn’t want to open and stopped talking there about it. The things I said about how I felt in that moment about Paul Tierney whistling [refereeing] our games, I’m very sure he’s not doing it intentionally but we have a history and I cannot deny that. I am not a resentful person, not at all. Not at all. I think it’s a waste of time. I’ve had to get over