Football fans, and sports fans in general, tend to feel that their side isn’t given a fair shake by the officials. It’s perhaps natural when you’re invested in winning and generally focused more on one team than any other.
On Sunday against Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool weren’t given a fair shake by the officials. And it wasn’t just Liverpool fans who thought that, with former referees, announcers, and Match of the Day pundits openly talking about the job done by Paul Tierney.
A consensus red card by England captain Harry Kane on Andrew Robertson was let go as yellow. A consensus penalty against Diogo Jota was ignored. And finally Robertson saw red for a less dangerous tackle.
“I was brought up to take responsibility when you’ve done something wrong and I have to admit my challenge was misjudged,” Robertson said after, taking the blame for something few saw as his fault. “My mistake giving them the chance to make the decision.”
He did, however, make it clear that while he regretted giving Tierney and the video assistant referee the chance to give him a red card, he perhaps wasn’t entirely pleased by the overall performance of those charged with running Sunday’s match.
“Probably best I don’t speak about other things in the match other than to say how proud I am of the rest of the team,” he noted. “Me aside, the boys were different class in unbelievably difficult circumstances.”
Taking responsibility is what you’d expect from Scotland’s captain. In just world, though, it would be the officials—Tierney, his assistants, VAR, and Professional Game Match Officials Limited—today putting their hands up and admitting they let the game down.