Sunday’s match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield left a great deal of talking points in its wake. Most of them, on title and top four races, form trends, and the nerves displayed again at Anfield even by an Arsenal side challenging for said title, are fairly expected.
The apparent elbowing in the throat or chin of Liverpool fullback Andrew Robertson by linesman Constantine Hatzidakis—and based on the clear video evidence, apparent is really only doing any work to cover the uncertainty regarding precisely where and how hard the self-evidently intentionally-thrown elbow landed—on the other hand, is not.
Even if the linesman’s action didn’t land as hard as some acts of violence on the pitch, to see an official at the very highest level lash out—and, perhaps most surprisingly, to lash out when there appeared little or even no real provocation—against a player is unheard of.
Unsurprisingly, the Football Association has confirmed that they will now undertake an investigation of the member of referee Paul Tierney’s team, and it is difficult to imagine the official escaping with less than Fulham player Aleksandar Mitrović’s recent eight-match ban for making contact with an official.
In the meantime, the Professional Game Match Officials Board have confirmed Hatzidakis—who previously drew Jürgen Klopp’s ire for advising Tierney that Robertson be sent off against Tottenham in 2021—will not be selected to officiate while under investigation.