In news that should surprise absolutely no one, the FA has charged Brendan Rodgers over his postgame "discussion" about referee Lee Mason after the Manchester City match on Boxing Day. Rodgers has decided not to dispute the FA's decision and will accept whatever punishment the FA hands down, which is likely to be a wrist-slap fine and a stern warning against future such naughtiness.
In case you need your memory jogged, Rodgers was upset with Mason and his crew over several questionable (at best) decisions that were made during that ill-fated journey to the City of Manchester Stadium. Raheem Sterling has an early goal called back for offsides when he was several yards on, and Luis Suarez was denied a penalty shout despite being pulled off the ball by his shirt.
Given the close nature of the match and the 2-1 final score in favor of the home side, it's understandable that Rodgers was a bit peeved by those decisions. What probably upset the FA more, though, was Rodgers' implication of some... impropriety on the part of the decision of which referee to put in charge of the match.
"I was surprised we were playing in Manchester and we have a Greater Manchester referee. I’m not sure what it was about," Rodgers said during his post-match comments, referring to Mason being a Bolton native. "Hopefully we don’t have a Greater Manchester referee again when we play a Manchester team. I’m sure for Liverpool v Man City we wouldn’t get anyone from Wirral being the ref."
You can see why the FA would find something like that objectionable, though Rodgers does raise a fair point. While referees are required to acknowledge any supporting ties to clubs as part of their registration process, one would imagine that being cognizant of a referee's native area would be advisable. Refs on international duty aren't allowed to oversee matches involving their nation of origin, so why someone who grew up less than a half-hour's drive from the stadium was in charge is a little mysterious.
Still, it's probably inadvisable to publicly call the motivations of a certain referee in to question. It tends to annoy them something fierce, and will probably not be remembered fondly the next time that ref is asked to keep an eye over one of your club's matches. Plus it tends to make the FA get all uppity and make you write a not-insignificant check to them, which is never a pleasant experience.
Hopefully the decision about how big a check that Rodgers will be filling out to the FA will be the last we hear of this. The entire set of circumstances around this have been unpleasant to say the least, and it will be good to see the whole thing in the rear-view mirror.