Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers Accepts Charge over Referee Comments

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Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers Accepts Charge over Referee Comments
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Updates From Thursday, Jan. 9:

The FA has fined Rodgers for his outburst regarding Lee Mason, according to the FA's official site:

Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been fined £8,000 and warned as to his future conduct after he admitted an FA misconduct charge.

Rodgers was charged for a breach of FA Rule E3 in that his post-match comments following Liverpool’s game at Manchester City on 26 December 2013 constituted improper conduct in that they called into question the integrity of the match referee, and/or implied that the match referee was motivated by bias; and/or brought the game into disrepute; and/or amounted to a failure to act in the best interests of the game.

---End of Update--- 

Updates from Wednesday, Jan. 8

Brendan Rodgers has accepted the FA charge against him for comments made regarding referee Lee Mason following Liverpool's loss to Manchester City (via James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo):

Chris Bascombe of The Telegraph had more on what this means for Rodgers and what punishment he can expect:

The FA will now await the decision of a commission before deciding what punishment to impose, usually a warning of future conduct of a fine.

Rodgers said the officiating in the Etihad Stadium was "horrendous" and later clarified his remarks regarding the selection of Mason.

Original Text

It's been a season filled with positives for manager Brendan Rodgers, as he has guided Liverpool to their current top-four standing in the English Premier League table. 

However, Rodgers let his emotions get the best of him following a 2-1 loss to Manchester City on Dec. 26, and he may pay the price.

According to the Football Association, Rodgers has been charged after criticizing the officiating following the match:

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Per David Kent of Daily Mail, Rodgers was incredulous when it came to the performance of referee Lee Mason. He didn't pull any punches as he blamed the officiating for his side's loss.

"They had no help whatsoever from the officials. I never go on about officials, but I thought today they were horrendous, in terms of performance. We had nothing that went our way at all," Rodgers said.

More specifically, Rodgers criticized a controversial offside call that may very well have cost Liverpool a draw at the very least:

I thought that the linesman on the offside onethey weren't even on the same cut of grass, and if you're working at this level, you have to get that right. It's not even a difficult one, that. These are the things we work on and talk about, we are asking a young player to try to break their line. It was a perfect timed run, and he's given offside when he's through one-on-one on goal.

According to Oliver Kay of The Times, Rodgers also made a comment that suggested Mason's Manchester ties influenced his officiating:

Per Kent, here is Rodgers' full comment:

I thought it was throughout the evening as well, so hopefully we don't have a Greater Manchester referee again for the Liverpool vs. Manchester City game. I'm sure we won't get for Liverpool/Man City somebody from the Wirral. I don't think we would get that.

According to the FA, Rodgers has until Jan. 8 to respond to the charge against him, so it will be interesting to see how this situation plays out.

Even if Rodgers made some good points, the FA has a responsibility to protect the match officials and their integrity. Rodgers likely stepped over the line with his comments, and now he'll wait to see if he's found guilty.

 

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