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Klopp handed two-match ban after referee comments

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Jurgen Klopp - The Canadian Press

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been given a two-match touchline ban and fined £75,000 following comments made about referee Paul Tierney after the team's 4-3 win over Tottenham Hotspur last month.

The German will serve the first match of the ban this weekend against Aston Villa, while the second match will be suspended through 2023-2024 on the condition that Klopp doesn't commit any further breaches of FA rules.

"Jurgen Klopp admitted that his comments regarding the match referee during post-match media interviews constitute improper conduct as they imply bias, question the integrity of the referee, are personal, offensive, and bring the game into disrepute," the FA said in a release on Thursday.

After the dramatic Apr. 30 encounter that saw the Reds blow a 3-0 lead before winning the match in stoppage on a goal from Diogo Jota, Klopp conceded that he regretted his conduct. He celebrated the winner in the face of linesman John Brooks and tore his hamstring in the process. He was given a yellow card for the celebration. In his post-match remarks, Klopp accused Tierney of having it out for him.

"I really don’t know what this man has with us," Klopp said. "I really don’t know. He will always say there’s nothing – and it’s not true, it cannot be. I have to say. It cannot be, I don’t understand it. I’m really not sure if it’s me because he looks at me… I don’t understand it."

While Klopp regretted the circumstances and admitted he couldn't prove any intentional bias from Tierney, he didn't walk back his criticism.

“I understand I opened the box," Klopp said on May 2 of his remarks. "The rest was how I felt in that moment about Paul Tierney reffing our games. I am very sure he is not doing it intentionally, but we have a history and I cannot deny that. Of course things didn’t happen intentionally but they are still there and it’s a feeling. I know the refs were really angry about what I said and now go for it. I heard I was lying. I did a lot of things that day but I didn’t lie."

Liverpool sits one point behind Newcastle and Manchester United for a top-four finish and Champions League place, but with having played one more game than the Magpies and Red Devils. Following hosting Villa at Anfield on Saturday, they finish their season on May 28 with a visit to already relegated Southampton.