Linesman suspended following Andy Robertson incident as ex-referee predicts long ban
Assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis will not be part in any matches while an FA inquiry is carried out after an incident with Liverpool’s Andy Robertson on Sunday.
The odd situation saw Robertson yelling at the linesman after the half-time whistle at Anfield during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
Robertson extended his hands out towards the referee and Hatzidakis looked to fling out his arm to shrug him off, however CCTV showed he may have hit the Scot on the chin with his elbow.
Following the match, Professional Game Match Officials Limited issued a statement which read: ‘PGMOL is aware of an incident involving assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis and Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson at half-time during the Liverpool v Arsenal tie at Anfield.
‘We will evaluate the situation in detail once the game has concluded.’
On Monday they added: ‘PGMOL will not be appointing Constantine Hatzidakis to fixtures in any of the competition it serves until The FA examines the incident involving the assistant referee and Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson at Anfield.’
Did the assistant referee elbow Andy Robertson?!" 🤯 pic.twitter.com/CZQbDDDX0I
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 9, 2023
Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey believes he has never seen anything like that and reckons the linesman might face an eight-match punishment if proved to be in the wrong.
Fulham striker Aleksander Mitrovic has already been punished with an eight-game ban for placing his hands on an official, and Halsey feels Hatzidakis might face the same punishment.
‘Officials are the protectors of standards on the field of play and looking back at that, I think he will be regretting his actions,’ Halsey stated on talkSPORT. ‘Having said that, I think that the PGMOL are going to undertake their investigations.
‘For me, Robertson approaches him and it appears like he attempts to touch him and then the assistant flicks his arm up. He shouldn’t have done it. What he should have done is go to the referee and reported it and let him take action.
‘But if he’s found guilty of an act of violent behaviour then he should take his penalty in the same manner that Mitrovic has just received his punishment.
‘They’re both professionals, Robertson is a professional footballer and the assistant is a professional assistant referee. We’re simply guessing at what has gone on and we have to wait for the inquiry to take place.
‘It’s something that I’ve never seen before and so there’s a first time for everything, but if he’s guilty he has to bear the consequences.’
Regarding the duration of sentence, Halsey said: ‘You’ve got to look at Mitrovic, haven’t you?
‘He was suspended for eight games for the use of technical assault, they may allege that the assistant had technically assaulted a player. You’re looking at two identical occurrences, aren’t you?
‘Obviously, if proven guilty, he has to pay the penalties of an eight-game penalty because they’ve set a precedent.’