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Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson should be punished as well as Premier League assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis after the pair were involved in an unsavoury incident at Anfield on Sunday, according to outspoken pundit Simon Jordan. Hatzidakis appeared to hit Robertson with an elbow shortly before half-time in Liverpool’s thrilling draw with Arsenal, sparking protests from the Scot and his team-mates as the players trudged off the pitch at the interval.
Robertson appeared to put his hands on Hatzidakis as he approached to complain about a decision before the official responded by raising an elbow, which seemed to strike the face of the Liverpool full-back to leave him incensed. The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) have since promised a full review into the incident, with Hatzidakis having been taken off duty while the investigation is taking place.
Jordan was quizzed on the topic during an appearance on talkSPORT on Monday morning and insisted that both Robertson and Hatzidakis should be penalised by the FA for their involvement in the ugly scenes that unfolded before the break at Anfield, saying: “As an official you’ve got to be beyond reproach. You can’t put yourself in the way of this conversation.
“Andy Robertson… why are players thinking that they can surround referees again? Why are they beginning to think that they can question officials? I thought that a captain’s job was to do that. Why are we seeing this rise in players putting their hands on an official or getting in their faces?
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“We’ve seen it with [Bruno] Fernandes and [Aleksandar] Mitrovic, but I don’t think we should get into the territory of conflating two issues, what happened with Mitrovic and what happened with this official. Make no mistake, this official needs to face consequences. To me it looked like he raised his arm in a ‘get out of the way’ sort of thing and the elbow gets in the way of it.
“But when you’re in a position of authority and you’re supposed to exude authority you have to be beyond reproach. You have to hold people to certain standards. I don’t suspect that anyone should even be beginning to talk about the notion of an eight-game ban, but I do think that this man needs to face consequence because he’s made an error of judgement.”
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When asked how Hatzidakis should be punished, Jordan said: “I don’t know the playbook or what the PGMOL gift is in terms of what they can or can’t do. The official can control his reaction to that, he can decide if he wants to engage with it.
“I liked Roy Keane’s reaction to it. I know he played up to the cameras at the end of it by calling him ‘a baby’ when they started to analyse it, but at the time, I’m of this camp. Robertson wasn’t picked the other day, off the bench and then in front of the cameras telling the world what Liverpool’s problems are in that they don’t seem to be able to win a game when two teams are playing against each other and neither wanting to win.
“He’s a great player, I like him a lot, but he’s just got a little bit too much of it at the moment. I think that Robertson should face consequence as well.”
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