FA reveal conversation between Klopp and ref Tierney that sparked furious row as Liverpool boss is hit with ban

THE FA have revealed the details of the conversation between Jurgen Klopp and Paul Tierney that triggered the Liverpool boss’ suspension.

Klopp was hit with a two-game touchline ban for his comments regarding the referee on April 30 – although one of those is suspended until the end of next season.

ReutersJurgen Klopp was hit with a ban and a fine after his comments about Paul Tierney[/caption]

The Reds chief also got hit with a fine worth £75,000 for what he said.

Klopp, 55, was charged the day after he accused Tierney of having an agenda against his team and giving biased decisions – despite failing to send off match-winner Diogo Jota in the dramatic 4-3 victory over Spurs.

And as part of the disciplinary commission which heard the case on Monday, the conversation on the touchline when Klopp celebrated in fourth official John Brooks’ face then argued with Tierney was publicised.

Brooks told Tierney: “Jurgen Klopp has just run and celebrated in my face. I think it’s a yellow card mate, minimum.”

The commission agreed: “Mr Brooks considered Mr Klopp’s conduct to be misplaced celebration rather than an aggressive or threatening move.”

Tierney then asked the VAR officials in Stockley Park for advice and was told a yellow card was sufficient.

When he went to issue the card, Tierney told Klopp: “Right. I have to show you yellow.

“It could be red, but I am going to show you yellow. He said yellow. We will give you the benefit of the doubt, don’t do anything more.”


In a written submission, Klopp said he was “sorry”, describing that as “the most important sentiment I must express”.

Klopp claimed on May 2: “Paul Tierney came over to me. I didn’t
expect a red card, to be honest because I didn’t feel that was right.

“I expected a yellow card in that moment. And he said to me, ‘For me it’s a red card, but because of him.’

“That’s what I understood, so it was loud in the stadium, but, ‘Because of him, it’s yellow.’

“Shows me yellow card, smiles in my face, that’s it. I [said], ‘Red card? For what?’”

The FA confirmed the conduct on the touchline did not warrant the charge – although it provided background information – and it was his TV interview that prompted the punishment.

Klopp said to the media: “We have our history with Tierney, I really don’t know what he has against us.

“He has said there [are] no problems but that cannot be true.”


FA lawyers described Klopp’s comments as “a particularly serious example of misconduct involving media comments about a match official” and that they were “particularly more damaging” than typical post-match gripes.

The commission found that these were “allegations of persistent bias against a blameless referee”, “highly damaging” and “unacceptable”.

Klopp admitted his comments were “improper” as “they imply bias, question the integrity of the referee, are personal, offensive, and bring the game into disrepute”.

The German added: “I am sorry for some of the tone and content of my post-match interview.

“Although it was not my intention I accept now it appears that I was questioning Mr Tierney’s integrity.

“I take ownership of this. On reflection, the words I used were inappropriate.

“To be absolutely clear, I know that Mr Tierney, along with all other officials, do their work without any pre-conceived bias or prejudice.”

It was expected Klopp would be hit with a two-game ban, ruling him out of the rest of the campaign.

Instead, while Klopp will be in the stands for Liverpool’s game against Aston Villa on Saturday, he will be able to return to a pitchside view for the final game of the campaign at Southampton on May 28.

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