Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been officially charged with questioning the integrity of match official Lee Mason following Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Boxing Day.
Rodgers questioned why a referee from the Greater Manchester area (Bolton, to be precise) is refereeing a Manchester match.
Following the loss, the 40-year-old said, “I thought they [the officials] were horrendous in terms of performance.
“Hopefully we don’t have another Greater Manchester referee again on a Liverpool-Manchester game. I was surprised we are playing in Manchester and have a referee from Greater Manchester.”
The FA issued a statement saying:
“Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been charged by The FA over post-match media comments he made following his side’s game against Manchester City on 26 December 2013.
It is alleged the comments by Rodgers 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.”
Rodgers has until 6pm Wednesday to respond.
Clarifying his comments later, the Liverpool manager said, “I was talking in terms of geography and I certainly wasn’t questioning the integrity of referees. I wouldn’t suspect that Mike Dean, from the Wirral, has refereed many games for Liverpool over the years.”
It’s not surprising the FA decided to take action with a manager who not only questioned the unbiased nature of referees but also the FA themselves for their appointment skills.
Oddly enough, Lee Mason attended the Liverpool University of Higher Education from 1990 to 1993, playing for the soccer team there.