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Home   /   Klopp fined for outburst outlines Refereeing woes at the top level

Jurgen Klopp’s outburst is what is needed to kick the referees into gear and find consistency. Klopp was fined by the FA for his behaviour and aggression towards on field officials during last Sunday’s tie with Reigning champions Manchester City. The incident came to light after Man City player Bernardo Silva pulled down Mohammad Salah in what was a clear foul, however no call was made by the on-field team, leaving Klopp at boiling point and hurling abuse at the near by linesman. These actions from Klopp scream volumes that enough is enough; refereeing at the top level is failing the teams involved.

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Sunday’s game at Anfield was ‘let flow’ as challenges flew in and were left uncalled for by Anthony Taylor, it was a fast-flowing game that was clearly focused on letting the two teams battle however the line was tested after Phil Foden’s second half goal was disallowed for a challenge from Erling Haaland on Fabinho which led to the assist of Foden’s goal. The problem with this was that challenges like this were let go by Taylor throughout the game on different areas of the pitch, but when it came to a goal scoring opportunity the call goes against Man City. Making the clear point you must be consistent; a foul is a foul no matter its position on the pitch.

This season has been at the height of refereeing pressure and Sunday has just added to a long list of referee and VAR mistakes ranging from the Cornet disallowed goal against Chelsea, to Newcastle not being awarded a penalty for a clear foul on Wilson after Varane stepped across the striker. These continued VAR mistakes have brought pundits to their knee’s as they continue to criticise decisions; the likes of Martin Keown and Danny Murphy labelled the moment as the “Worst decision of the weekend, that one. It’s an obvious penalty. It would have changed the game.” Focusing clearly on the impact the poor decisions are having on the game.

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Refereeing has been at a clear decline in terms of quality since the introduction of VAR with refs relying on VAR immensely, I have seen continuous moments of hesitation where linesmen are scared to raise their flags for offsides and fouls; instead leaving it for the TV official to deal with. This was clear and rather shocking during the Chelsea versus Liverpool Carabao Cup Final in which the combined teams found the net a number of times but were consistently ruled out for offside, however not by the Linesmen instead by the TV official leaving both sets of fans frustrated sitting around waiting for Referee reviews.

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As a football fan I feel the professionalism has left the game at the top level in terms of officiating, the continued prolonged breaks and uneven clarity between decisions has not only made games confusing in terms of results but has created an air of stupidity as one week a challenge is given and the next week its not.  It may be seen as controversial, but I feel Jurgen Klopp was well within his right to be angry and his actions I feel displayed every team’s frustration with regard to officiating. He could have perhaps controlled how he showed his frustration but in the heat of moment with points on the line it gives a real air of the importance of the game for Klopp and his men.

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The Fine by the FA won’t phase the big German who will be sent to the stands for Liverpool’s clash with West Ham on Wednesday evening; although portrayed as the villain Klopp’s stand displays a clear want for improvement, and consistent errors week in week out across the premier league surely call for the FA to look at how they handle their officiating.

Boiling point is just about being reached and the FA as the governing body should be surely focused on resolving these issues. They must know the officiating is failing all involved? There isn’t smoke without fire and now the clarity of what constitutes a foul is as known as who will win the World cup.

 We will have to wait and see if more managers become as animated as Klopp as the league pushes on, but there must come a point where a solution needs to be found. The FA should look at other sports that use VAR and perhaps focus on limited team-controlled reviews which in turn would limit VAR’s slowing of the game. 

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July 2024