🔴EOTK Insider Opinion: FA's verdict on Klopp's critique of Tierney is alarming as well as correct ✅
Jürgen Klopp approached Paul Tierney after Liverpool's draw with Tottenham to question his decision-making
When faced with the possibility of either backing Paul Tierney and his team of officials or Jürgen Klopp, the Football Association ultimately went with the latter by not punishing the German for his post-Spurs antics.
Twice in London - firstly before the resumption of the second-half of football at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - the 54-year-old went to the Englishman for answers with regard to his officiating calls and, presumably, those operating VAR.
The expectation was that such behaviour would land Klopp into seriously hot water with the FA as it has tended to historically across the league.
As such, it was surprising, not to mention somewhat alarming - in that it appeared to back the former Mainz head coach’s concerns over the quality of officiating on offer - that the governing body favoured inaction.
Going against that does admittedly risk sending the wrong message to both coaches and players, the latter of which already have a difficult and invariably disrespectful relationship with officials.
Sadly, that has been the primary focus for a number of commentators with the broader picture of player safety and consistency (not to mention quality) of refereeing decisions falling on deaf ears.
The Liverpool boss has spent many a breath on the former issue - banging his drum defiantly in the face of mockery over his concern for player wellbeing when it came to the taxing demands of the fixture schedule last term.
Had he waded into more controversial topics, one might have been able to overlook the sneering contempt with which his complaints were dealt with, yet, this was not the case.
We should care about player safety and wellbeing - regardless of whether it is connected to fixture crowding or a lack of protection from refereeing calls.
However, the reality of the situation is that some of the reaction to Klopp blowing a gasket over a series of objectively poor officiating decisions from Paul Tierney and his team at Stockley Park - including a dangerous tackle from Harry Kane on Andy Robertson - bordered on gaslighting from some quarters.
‘Look at Klopp, moaning about referees again! He’s taking the focus away from what was a great game of football!’
No one’s denying that it was a great game of football. That being said, one would have had to shove their head under a mile of sand to overlook the fact that it was at least slightly marred by the poor quality of refereeing calls made throughout the 90 minutes played in London.
Thankfully, only a few have defended Tierney’s team and the FA’s latest verdict would appear to suggest the necessity for PGMOL to take a serious look at itself and the guidelines its issuing officials.
We shouldn’t be forced into making a binary choice between player safety and protecting referees.
Both should be a given - but it may take some serious reform as far as PGMOL is concerned.
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