Liverpool Manager Rafael Benitez Warned After Referee Gesture
Liverpool boss warned over future conduct by Football Association.
The Football Association has announced that they have warned Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez over his future conduct in interviews after finding him guilty of making an “objectively offensive” gesture.
Speaking after Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotpsur on August 16, Benitez responded to a question about referee Philip Dowd by removing his glasses and examining them, as he believed his side were denied two clear penalties during the match.
Benitez, who personally attended the Independent Regulatory Committee meeting in Manchester, denied the charge of improper conduct and escaped a touchline ban or fine. He was also cleared of two other misconduct charges relating to comments made about Mr Dowd.
A statement released by the FA said: “A regulatory commission of the FA has found Mr Rafael Benitez guilty of misconduct in relation to a breach of FA Rule E3, arising out of a gesture made by him during a post-match briefing. The commission concluded the gesture was objectively offensive.
“Two other aspects of the misconduct charge against Mr Benitez were dismissed by the commission.
“The commission noted Mr Benitez’s previous exemplary disciplinary record over 23 years as a coach and manager at the highest level of the sport.
“Taking into account all relevant factors, the commission concluded that the appropriate penalty was to warn Mr Benitez as to his future conduct with regards to interviews and press briefings.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool have released a statement on their website which reads: “The commission found that two of the allegations relating to comments made about the match referee were not proven and therefore dismissed.
“On a third, the commission accepted that a gesture made with a pair of spectacles was ‘in a non-malicious and humorous manner’.”
Liverpool assistant manager Sammy Lee also faces an improper conduct charge for his behaviour during the same match.