Liverpool vs Arsenal is always an exhilarating affair. However, even by its lofty standards, the recent fixture, a chaotic 2-2 draw, surpassed all expectations when it comes to entertainment. There were scuffles, a comeback, a near win, missed sitters, and more. Still, the most notable incident happened at half-time.
As the teams were starting to leave the pitch, a video emerged of Liverpool LB Andrew Robertson allegedly getting elbowed by linesman Constantine Hatzidakis.
What’s up with the linesman elbowing Robertson? 😂 pic.twitter.com/lZ5gcxhu8q
— FPL Focal (@FPLFocal) April 9, 2023
Social media was ablaze with hot takes flying everywhere. While some called out Robertson for overreacting, others wanted accountability from Constantine Hatzidakis for his actions.
So, who is Constantine Hatzidakis, and what has been the fallout from the linesman-Robertson incident? Here’s a look-
Who is Constantine Hatzidakis?
Constantine Hatzidakis is a veteran official who has been a part of matchday referee teams for a number of years. He has overseen fixtures in major tournaments like Premier League, Champions League, and Europa League.
Constantine Hatzidakis has no prior history of any such incidents.
In the video footage, Robertson appears to approach Constantine Hatzidakis before the linesman shrugs off his approach. The fallout from the incident had people taking sides.
Gary Neville was aghast at the turn of events and appeared to call out the linesman for his actions.
“I’ve never seen an official raise an elbow to a player. I think he’ll be in a lot of trouble after this game ends,” he said.
His former teammate, Roy Keane, however, had the viral take. He pinned the blame on Robertson, calling him a “big baby” and accusing Robertson of grabbing the linesman first.
Was Robertson elbowed by Linesman? What next
PGMOL, the governing body for English football officials said the following in response to the incident:
“PGMOL is aware of an incident involving assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis and Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson at half-time during the Liverpool v Arsenal fixture at Anfield.
“We will review the matter in full once the game has concluded.”
For his part, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refused to get drawn into the debate until a clearer picture emerged. However, he appeared to back his player indirectly-
“I didn’t see it. I can’t give wrong answers. But I’ve heard the pictures speak for themselves and I cannot say more. I didn’t see a bit of it.”
This Premier League has not been one to remember for the referees. This incident comes just a day after PGMOL had to issue a formal apology to Brighton for missing a penalty incident in the game against Tottenham.
This followed incidents like Mitrovic’s eight-game suspension for hitting an official, Arsenal receiving an apology similar to Brighton, and Bruno Fernandes being accused of getting away with putting his hands on an official.
The increasingly fractious relationship between the clubs and the officials has taken a turn for the worse this season as errors have mounted.
Regarding this incident, it is expected that Liverpool and Robertson will be invited to speak their part when the investigation begins. Constantine Hatzidakis would also be expected to say his part of the story.
This story will keep getting updated as soon as further official developments occur.
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