Refereeing body PGMOL is set to investigate after Liverpool defender Andy Robertson appeared to be elbowed by linesman Constantine Hatzidakis in the Reds’ match against Arsenal at Anfield.
PGMOL intends to “review” the extraordinary 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,” said the Premier League referees’ body in a statement.
“We will review the matter in full once the game has concluded.”
Did the assistant referee elbow Andy Robertson?!" ? pic.twitter.com/CZQbDDDX0I
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 9, 2023
The issue of confrontations between players and officials has had greater prominence in the last few weeks given Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic was recently given an eight-match ban for pushing 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,” said former Manchester United captain Keane, speaking 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.”
Fellow Sky Sports pundit and ex-Manchester City and England defender Micah Richards added: “I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.”