Daily Mail

FA CHARGE IS RIGHT, KLOPP CROSSED THE (WHITE) LINE

- Sports · The Football Association · Jürgen Klopp · Divock Origi · Liverpool Football Club · José Mourinho · Manchester United F.C. · Manchester · Southampton F.C. · Southampton · Mike Jones · Everton F.C. · Everton · Anfield, Liverpool

LET’S start with the ob­vi­ous. No­body wants to see the emo­tion re­moved from foot­ball. The pas­sions re­leased by lo­cal der­bies, by last-minute win­ning goals, by two teams toe-to-toe in a ti­tle race, are what make the sport so com­pelling. Yet equally, the white line is there for a rea­son. It sep­a­rates us from them, the play­ers. That’s why it is sa­cred. So the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion are right to lay a charge against Jur­gen Klopp, even threaten a ban if he en­ters the field of play again. Not be­cause he has com­mit­ted the crime of the cen­tury. What hap­pened at An­field was largely harm­less. Divock Origi scored in the sixth minute of in­jury time, Klopp mo­men­tar­ily lost his mind and found him­self on the pitch, cel­e­brat­ing with his goal­keeper Alis­son. He knows he was wrong and apol­o­gised im­me­di­ately af­ter the game. So it’s not a cap­i­tal of­fence. It is, how­ever, a prece­dent if al­lowed to go unchecked. The next man­ager to do it might pro­voke a fu­ri­ous re­ac­tion from the op­po­si­tion bench, or fans; it might not be the last act of the af­ter­noon; there might be another hour to go with ten­sions rag­ing. Chris Ka­vanagh, ref­er­ee­ing his first Mersey­side derby, is not a greatly ex­pe­ri­enced of­fi­cial and did not do his duty, which was to dis­miss Klopp. Per­haps he thought to take ac­tion would be more in­cen­di­ary than the in­va­sion it­self, or that it would be a mean­ing­less ges­ture, given there were sec­onds re­main­ing. Even so, it needed to be done. A ref­eree would not re­sist a sec­ond yel­low card to a player be­cause the whis­tle was about to blow. What is the dif­fer­ence? Had Ka­vanagh acted, per­haps a warn­ing from the FA would have suf­ficed. Last sea­son, Jose Mour­inho en­croached on to the pitch when Manch­ester United played at Southamp­ton. He wasn’t over by much, six inches or so, but Mike Jones, the fourth of­fi­cial, pointed it out to Craig Paw­son, the ref­eree, and he was di­rected to the stands. Manch­ester United loy­al­ists were ap­palled, but it was the right call. Any­thing not stopped is en­cour­aged. Paw­son drew a line in the sand. The FA re­garded that as suf­fi­cient and, wisely, took no fur­ther ac­tion. The point had been made. No doubt Paw­son also con­sid­ered that the game was go­ing on when Mour­inho trans­gressed. The ball was dead for Klopp against Ever­ton. It’s not as if there was a risk of in­ter­fer­ing with play. Even so, it can­not hap­pen again and it is the FA’s job to en­sure that. A firm re­minder of his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties should suf­fice, but the charge is jus­ti­fied.

 ?? AMA ?? Mo­ment of mad­ness: Klopp runs on to the pitch to hug Alis­son
AMA Mo­ment of mad­ness: Klopp runs on to the pitch to hug Alis­son

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