Constantine Hatzidakis apologises to Andy Robertson after ‘elbow’ with official to face no FA action | Soccer News

The FA says it will be taking no further action against Constantine Hatzidakis after the match official appeared to elbow Andy Robertson during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw at Arsenal last weekend.

The incident occurred as the players were leaving the pitch at half-time during the Premier League meeting at Anfield, with Robertson approaching Hatzidakis before he then complained of being caught by the official.

No action was taken at the time but PGMOL, the match officials’ body, said Hatzidakis would not officiate until an investigation had been concluded.

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Former referee Dermot Gallagher provided expert analysis after assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis appeared to elbow Liverpool’s Andy Robertson

That investigation has now taken place, with the FA saying: “We have thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence in relation to the recent incident at Anfield involving the Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson and match official Constantine Hatzidakis, and we will be taking no further action.

“Our comprehensive process involved reviewing detailed statements from Liverpool and PGMOL, as well as multiple angles of video footage, in relation to both the incident and its surrounding circumstances.”

In a statement released through PGMOL, Hatzidakis revealed he had apologised to Robertson, who was given a yellow card by referee Paul Tierney for his complaints after the incident.

“I fully assisted the FA with their investigation and have discussed the matter directly with Andy Robertson during an open and positive conversation,” said Hatzidakis.

“It was certainly not my intention to make any contact with Andy as I pulled my arm away from him and for that I have apologised.

“I look forward to returning to officiating matches.”

After the match, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was unable to cast any light on the incident, saying: “I know it happened but I didn’t watch it.

“If it happened, the pictures will speak for themselves.”

After the game, Ref Support UK said Hatzidakis should be held to account if he was found to have committed wrongdoing, but said the rules need changing to stop players from crowding officials.

Martin Cassidy, the chief executive, said: “There are no clear boundaries, therefore we believe there should be an exclusion zone of two meters around match officials to prevent aggressive contact.

“If this zone is breached the referee can issue an in-game sanction.

“That said, match officials are the guardian of standards and must also be held accountable if found guilty of similar behavior towards a player or any participant of the game.

“Any sanction issued to a match official must reflect the same sanctions issued to player and participant.”

How the incident unfolded

Robertson goes to approach the linesman at the end of the first half
Robertson goes to approach Hatzidakis at the end of the first half

The linesman's elbow then appears to hit Robertson in the face
Hatzidakis’ elbow then appears to hit Robertson in the face

Keane: Did Robertson pull assistant ref first?

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Roy Keane reacts to Andy Robertson’s clash with the assistant referee at the end of the first half at Anfield

Watching the incident at half-time, Roy Keane questioned whether Robertson, whose side were trailing 2-1 at the time, actually grabbed the assistant referee first before the alleged elbow happened.

“I’ve not seen anything like it, really. But Robertson… does he grab the linesman first?” Keane said in the Sky Sports Studio.

“I’m not sure. But Robertson’s complaining. He should be more worried about his defending.

“I’ve watched Robertson a number of times and he is a big baby. Just get on with the game and concentrate on your defending. He does grab the linesman first.”