Jurgen Klopp will watch Roberto Firmino and James Milner’s Anfield farewell from stands
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be forced to watch Roberto Firmino and James Milner’s Anfield farewell from the stands having been hit with a touchline ban.
Klopp has been handed a two-game suspension starting with this weekend’s visit of Aston Villa to Anfield. However, the second game is a suspended ban which will only come into effect if he is found guilty of further breaches next season.
It means Klopp will be back on the touchline for the final game of the season when Liverpool travel to relegated Southampton.
The ban, and a fine of £75,000, relates to comments Klopp made to media in the immediate aftermath of Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Tottenham Hotspur on April 30.
The sanctions were imposed on the Football Association's behalf by an independent Regulatory Commission, which subsequently printed their return reasons.
It may be considered a mild punishment given it is the second time this season Klopp has faced an FA charge. There were calls for stricter action after Klopp was seen celebrating vociferously near the fourth official, John Brooks, when Diogo Jota scored an injury time winner.
However, the charge did not relate to that offence as Klopp was shown a yellow card by referee Paul Tierney. His post-match remarks about Tierney caused the FA to act.
The commission took into account Klopp swiftly accepting the charge, issuing an apology – including a written letter to the FA – and his efforts to clarify his comments in a later press conference.
In their written submission, the commission stated: “The Commission accepts Mr Klopp’s apology, and recognises that he was speaking in the heat of the moment. Nevertheless, Mr Klopp is a high profile figure, who is required to lead by example. He has a history of breaches, most recently in November 2022. The assertions that Mr Klopp made against Mr Tierney were unacceptable, ranging as they did beyond the immediate match.”
Klopp stated in his letter that ‘these incidents were driven by emotion’ and that managers ought to be given some leeway given the immediacy with which they are expected to give post-match interviews, especially to broadcasters.
He added: “I was overly emotional at some of the decisions made, which then led to frustration and a feeling of unfairness. I carried that emotion into the mandated and time sensitive post-match press commitments. I do ask that you look at the comments I made in the following context; we are, as Managers, contractually required to make ourselves available in a timely fashion. This doesn't readily allow for a more measured approach. Also, English is not my primary language and at times what I mean to say and how I say it can conflict.
“To be absolutely clear, I know that Mr. Tierney, along with all other officials, do their work without any pre-conceived bias or prejudice.”
In a separate correspondence, Liverpool asserted that a history of contentious decisions against Mohamed Salah was a factor in Klopp’s conduct.
Although Klopp must watch the 90 minutes from the Directors Box this weekend, he will not be prohibited from joining his players on the pitch at full-time, when Firmino, Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita will be formally saying farewell to the Kop.
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