Jurgen Klopp facing touchline ban as 'smoking gun' audio clears referee Tierney

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is facing a second touchline ban this season following his comments about referee Paul Tierney, with audio of the conversation contradicting the accusations.

The German’s behaviour is under the spotlight once again after he reacted to Liverpool’s late winner in Sunday’s 4-3 win over Tottenham by sprinting over to fourth official John Brooks and celebrating in his face.

Klopp had been unhappy with some of the decisions in the match, despite many pundits feeling the Merseysiders were fortunate to have finished the match with 11 men after Diogo Jota kicked Oliver Skipp in the head while Ibrahima Konate could have conceded a penalty.

His ire stemmed from a somewhat innocuous tussle between Mohamed Salah and Ben Davies, with a flailing arm catching the Welshman; the challenge actually drew blood and Davies was off the pitch receiving treatment when Spurs scored their third goal.

After Jota’s winner and Klopp’s overexuberant celebration, referee Tierney came over to the touchline and booked the German, who then subsequently claimed the official had said something ‘unacceptable’ to him but refused to elaborate.

Refereeing body PGMOL quickly refuted Klopp’s accusation, saying Tierney acted in a ‘professional manner throughout’, and now the Daily Mail are reporting that the audio from the referee’s microphone fully exonerates him.

In fact, one insider describes the audio as a ‘smoking gun’ which clears Tierney of any wrongdoing and PGMOL will send it to the FA who are investigating the incident.

The FA are still awaiting the referee’s report before announcing any formal charges, but the audio is likely to be made public at the end of a now very likely disciplinary case.

Klopp could face multiple charges, both for his conduct towards fourth official Brooks and his post-match comments about Tierney in which he suggested the referee had an agenda against Liverpool.

The 55-year-old has already served a one-game suspension for berating assistant referee Gary Beswick during Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Manchester City back in October and was also fined £30,000.

Former PGMOL boss Keith Hackett said of the incident: ‘John Brooks the fourth official at Anfield today should not have to put up with the unacceptable behaviour of Jurgen Klopp.

‘The law is clear and if we are to get improvement of the technical area occupants then the law must be applied. Do not allow your authority to be eroded.’

PGMOL’s statement read: ‘PGMOL is aware of the comments made by Jurgen Klopp after his side’s fixture with Tottenham Hotspur.

‘Match officials in the Premier League are recorded in all games via a communications system and having fully reviewed the audio of referee Paul Tierney from today’s fixture, we can confirm he acted in a professional manner throughout including when issuing the caution to the Liverpool manager so, therefore, we strongly refute any suggestion that Tierney’s actions were improper.’

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