Clattenburg claims that Andy Robertson provoked Linesman Constantine Hatzidakis.

Did Andy Robertson provoke Constantine Hatzidakis before he swung an arm?

The weekend has not been easy for Howard Webb, the PGMOL’s new chief. He is now having to deal with an accusation of an assistant elbowing a player at Anfield while trying to manage the existing VAR controversies. The footage available suggests that Andrew Robertson initiated contact with Constantine Hatzidakis that led to the official swinging his arm. Hatzidakis’s elbow then appeared to catch Robertson on the chin. The PGMOL will soon be looking into the matter, and Webb will speak to both Hatzidakis and Robertson to understand what happened.

Even though players can push officials to their limits, provoking them to give something back in return, officials must never react. Hatzidakis did react, and it now remains to be seen what action will be taken against him, given the month-long ban handed to Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic for pushing referee Chris Kavanagh earlier last month. It will be crucial to see how Webb handles the matter as this will undoubtedly set a precedent for the future.

Sky Sports pundits Roy Keane and Gary Neville reviewed the incident at half-time

Footage of Constantine Hatzidakis swinging an arm at Andy Robertson suggests the official was provoked

Hatzidakis knows referees should never react - and he could face trouble with the PGMOL

Hatzidakis knows referees should never react – and he could face trouble with the PGMOL 

What other pundits are saying:

  • ROY KEANE: Robertson may have grabbed the linesman first, but he should concentrate on the game and stick to his defending
  • CHRIS SUTTON: A match official cannot react like that, and the PGMOL must take a strong stance; Hatzidakis needs to be banned
  • GARY NEVILLE: I have never seen an official raise an elbow towards a player, and he could be in a lot of trouble when the game ends
  • MICAH RICHARDS: I have never seen anything like that in my life

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