The Football Association has charged Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers with bringing the game into disrepute after his comments he made after the Manchester City-Liverpool match.
In the game between Manchester City and Liverpool, the match officials made mistakes on two clear-cut decisions. The first was the offside decision in the first half where the assistant referee flagged to indicate that Raheem Sterling was in an offside position, when he was two yards onside. The second was when Luis Suarez was fouled by Joleon Lescott, but the referee failed to award a free kick in Liverpool’s favor.
In his post match interview, Rodgers called into question the fact that referee Lee Mason was from Greater Manchester, refereeing a team from the area (Manchester City), and asked whether anyone would be upset if a referee from the Wirral officiated a Liverpool-Manchester City match at Anfield.
Rodger’s exact comments were:
“We had no help from the officials. They were horrendous. We never got any decision for us. The linesman for the offside one – they’re not even on the same cut of grass. It is not even a difficult one.
“It is a perfectly timed run when he was through on goal, the kind of move we have worked hard on. You can’t get a decision like that wrong at this level. They are big moments in a big game.
“There was another incident where Luis didn’t get a free-kick when Joleon Lescott comes through and it was waved play on. It is arguable it is a penalty at the end. But it was throughout the game.
“Hopefully we don’t have a Greater Manchester referee again on a Liverpool-Manchester game. I was surprised we were playing in Manchester and have a referee from Greater Manchester.
“I never speak about officials but I feel the need to protect the players this evening. They were outstanding and got nothing.
“Come the end of the game, the next day or two, I will get a call from an assessor and be asked for my opinion of the performance. I would ask the question. I am sure we won’t get Liverpool-Man City [refereed by] someone from the Wirral.”
The FA issued the following statement regarding the Boxing Day match between Liverpool and Manchester City:
“It is alleged the comments by [Brendan] Rodgers called into question the integrity of the match referee, and/or implied that the match referee was motivated by bias; and/or brought the game into disrepute; and/or amounted to a failure to act in the best interests of the game.”
Rodgers has until 1pm ET on January 8, 2014 to respond to the charge.