Review launched after assistant referee is accused of elbowing Liverpool’s Andy Robertson

Refereeing body will investigate incident that occurred at half-time during Liverpool’s game against Arsenal

England’s refereeing body, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), is to investigate after Liverpool defender Andy Robertson appeared to be elbowed by the assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis during Sunday’s game against Arsenal at Anfield.

PGMOL said it intends to review the incident which happened after the half-time whistle was blown, with Robertson remonstrating with and possibly coming into contact with the assistant referee.

Sky Sports cameras zooming in on the confrontation showed Hatzidakis then seemingly throwing up his arm and making contact with Robertson, who gesticulated that he had been hit by the official. An irate Robertson was led away by team-mates including Mohamed Salah but, while he received a yellow card in the aftermath, it is the action of Hatzidakis that is likely to come under further scrutiny.

“The PGMOL is aware of an incident involving assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis and Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson at half-time during the Liverpool v Arsenal fixture at Anfield,” the Premier League referees’ body said in a statement. “We will review the matter in full once the game has concluded.”


The issue of confrontations between players and officials has had greater prominence in the past few weeks given the Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic was recently given an eight-match ban for pushing the referee Chris Kavanagh in the Cottagers’ FA Cup defeat against Manchester United last month.

But former Manchester United captain Gary Neville believes it will be Hatzidakis who finds himself in hot water. “I’ve never seen an official raise an elbow to a player,” Neville said on Sky Sports. “I think he’ll be in a lot of trouble after this game ends.”

Roy Keane, another former Manchester United captain, pointed the finger squarely at Robertson. “Does Robertson grab the linesman first? I’m not sure but Robertson’s then complaining,” Keane said in his role as a pundit on Sky Sports.

“He should be more worried about his defending. Do you know what he is, that Robertson? I’ve watched him a number of times, he is a big baby, that’s what that guy is. Just get on with the game and concentrate on your defending. He does grab the linesman first.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted the 2-2 draw felt like two points dropped after his side squandered a 2-0 first-half lead.

Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus put the Gunners into a comfortable lead inside the opening half-hour, but Mohamed Salah’s goal brought Liverpool back into it and after the Egypt international missed an early second-half penalty, Roberto Firmino grabbed a late equaliser.

The Premier League leaders’ advantage over Manchester City is now just six points having played a game more.

“When you concede at the end it’s always two points dropped because you have it and you’re suffering in certain moments,” said Arteta. “The feeling is ‘Ah we should have done it’. But being fair to ourselves, they had four big chances that they could score and the penalty. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and we should have done better in the second half.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thought his side should have taken all three points. “A bit typical for us this season. An open game, completely open, they score with the first situation and the second one,” he said.

“Our reaction was good. It was a spectacular game in the end. How we didn’t win it with those late chances I don’t know.” – PA