Liverpool Left Back Andy Robertson and Linesman Clash, How Bad Was It?

While the football association looks into the incident between assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis and Liverpool star Andy Robertson on the weekend, the former will not be officiating in future fixtures while the outcome of this investigation is pending. Some fans and pundits have called for his suspension and ban, while others don’t believe the incident warrants too harsh of a punishment. Either way, If you bet on the game at Asian bookies on Sunday, you would have witnessed one of the games of the season.

Some fans believe a ban would be sufficient as Hatzidakis was spotted thrusting his elbow at Robertson after the defender approached him at half-time.

Investigation (How Long Will The Ban Be?)

Pending the outcome of the investigation, the FA announced on Monday that the young linesman would be suspended while they were going to find out the facts. Also, as Aleksandar Mitrovic of Fulham got an eight-game long suspension after he shoved referee Chris Kavanagh in March, a call for a suspension in Hatzidakis’ case is not unexpected. This is unfortunate timing for Hatzidakis since the authorities will feel some pressure not to give off the impression of backing up their mates.

Immediately after the incident, Robertson was furious and reported to the club staff and his teammates, saying, “The linesman elbowed me in the throat.” Following this, the refereeing body, headed by Howard Webb, released a statement on Monday saying, “We will not be appointing Constantine Hatzidakis to fixtures in any of the competitions it serves while the FA investigates the incident.”

Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, said he did not see what transpired between the player and linesman, but “the pictures speak for themselves.” Referee Paul Tierney booked Robertson afterward, but Klopp wasn’t having it as he met Paul after the game to tell him he had no problems with referees except for Paul himself.

A Bad Weekend For Referees

The Sunday clash has shocked other officials who have condemned Constantine’s actions, saying he should have acted differently. This also comes when referees have had it tough with Howard Webb apologizing to Brighton on the same weekend after a dominating Brighton were denied a penalty for a foul on Kaoru Mitoma during their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham.

The PGMOL said they would investigate the issue as they would if a player had been guilty of a similar offense. Usually, it will be termed “violent conduct” and attract a three-game suspension. Former PGMOL head Keith Hackett said if the assistant ref were found guilty, that would affect his career.

A former Premier League referee Mark Halsey also called for an eight-game ban on Hatzidakis. He believes this would match Mitrovic’s eight-game suspension for shoving Chris Kavanagh. However, Mark made it clear that he looked as though the player was trying to grab Constantine, and he tried to brush his hand off.

Additionally, Mark said he sees no reason why any ref would want to throw his hand into a player’s face. However, if what happened was deliberate, the referee must face the consequences of his actions.