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• Liverpool manager furious at treatment by officials• ‘Referees need to take a look at themselves’
Kenny Dalglish risks being charged by the Football Association after he questioned the integrity of match officials and blasted the “inexcusable” decisions he feels have gone against his Liverpool side in their past three games. The manager even went as far as suggesting that some people may believe Liverpool are on the receiving end of a referees “conspiracy”.
His comments come after a weekend of controversial decisions which resulted in other managers hitting out at the standard of officiating. On Sunday, Manchester United were awarded a penalty against Queens Park Rangers whose captain, Shaun Derry, was sent off despite Ashley Young clearly being offside and the forward going down under only the minimum of contact.
QPR’s manager, Mark Hughes, claimed afterwards that a large number of his peers have “lost faith” with officials in the wake of Wigan Athletic having two offside goals awarded against them at Chelsea on Saturday with their manager, Roberto Martínez, complaining: “its time to bring in referees and linesmen who know the game.” Martínez may be charged for his comments on Wednesday.
Dalglish was upset that Dirk Kuyt was not awarded a penalty in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa – the referee, Michael Oliver, told the forward he was unlucky, according to his manager – and the booking received by Luis Suárez for diving with the Scot claiming the striker had been trodden on.
Referring to the defeat to Wigan, when Suárez had a goal disallowed for handball, and the loss at Newcastle United when Liverpool were denied a penalty after the ball hit Danny Simpson’s shoulder on the line Dalglish said: “The last three games there are blatant decisions that have gone against us that are, frankly, inexcusable, and I’d say unexplainable as well.
“I won’t raise it with the Referees’ Association, I’ve raised it now, and it’s up to them. I think it really should be their concern. I’ve raised it, and it’s up to them now to look at it.
“to not get a penalty because an opponent is unlucky, surely that’s not my concern, but the concern of the Referees’ Association because they have got to look at something like that.
“I am stating a fact. If they have something like that, a decision that isn’t given that is so blatantly wrong – as we have felt in our last three games – then surely it is their problem, not mine.”
Dalglish repeatedly questioned the integrity of referees, which will be of concern to the FA. “I know where we are coming from,” he said. “I know we have integrity, I know we have integrity in bucketloads, but I can’t speak for other people and whether they have integrity. What we have to do now, is ensure this football club maintains its integrity, that the players keep their integrity, and hope that people elsewhere have some integrity too. they [referees] have to look at themselves and ensure they are seen to have integrity.”
Dalglish called for match officials to explain important decisions to managers. “The unfortunate thing for this football club in the last three games is that when there are decisions that are wrong – and there will always be decisions that are wrong – then there is never an explanation of why,” he said.
In a season in which Suárez was banned by the FA for eight games for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, Dalglish does not yet think there is a conspiracy against Liverpool. but he is concerned others may think this. “it would be helpful and more transparent if they told us, if they explained the decisions to us, or even just held their hands up and say, ‘sorry I got that wrong’, and we can see they have integrity. but they never say anything. we don’t get everything right, do we? So it is understandable they don’t either. but a wee bit of respect towards us would help the situation immensely. Otherwise, people might think there is a conspiracy.
“we can’t believe that, we can’t let it affect us, and take it into the games coming up, because that would damage us. we have to keep going, and ensure it doesn’t affect the players.
“If there is something, then somebody needs to tell us, and if there isn’t anything, they need to explain it to us a bit better. we just need to keep going, we can’t let it get to that, where we think it’s a [conspiracy].”
Liverpool travel to Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday evening and hope to arrest a run of one win in their past nine league games that has dropped them to eighth place, 16 points away from a Champions League place.