Revealed: Jurgen Klopp's personal apology letter to FA, new details of Liverpool manager's 'unwarranted attack' & the best parts of two-match ban announcement

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The FA confirmed Jurgen Klopp will be banned from the touchline for two Liverpool matches and assessed a fine.

The FA confirmed in a statement that Klopp had received the suspension and been fined £75,000 after comments he made in the media about referee Paul Tierney following Liverpool's dramatic 4-3 win over Tottenham in April.

In a newly released letter, the German manager apologised to Tierney for "questioning his integrity" and also for his behaviour towards fourth official John Brooks after Diogo Jota's late goal.

Klopp's initial comments - which were to say "I really don’t know what he has against us" - have been adjudged to have implied bias from Tierney towards Liverpool, an allegation refuted by refereeing body PGMOL and the FA – and since retracted by Klopp in his apology.

GOAL breaks down the key parts of the report and Klopp's apology letter below...

  1. How did the FA punish Klopp?

    How did the FA punish Klopp?

    Klopp has been fined £75,000 and issued with a touchline ban. The first match of the manager’s touchline ban is "effective immediately" – meaning he will watch from the stands as Liverpool take on Aston Villa at Anfield this Saturday. The second match of the ban will be assessed at the end of the 2023-24 season, provided Klopp doesn't incur any further FA bans or fines.

  2. Klopp's apology letter in full

    Klopp's apology letter in full

    The German head coach sent a personal letter to the FA that the organisation re-printed in its official report announcing his punishment. In it, Klopp fully retracted his comments about Tierney and Brooks, admitting what he said in post-match media interviews constituted improper conduct as they implied bias, questioned the integrity of the referee, were personal and/or offensive and brought the game into disrepute.

    Here is his letter in full, dated May 3:

    "I want to start this submission with the most important sentiment I must express; I am sorry. I am sorry for my reaction in that immediate moment when I ran towards the fourth official, Mr Brooks and I fully accepted a caution was justified. I accepted that then and I accept now that a yellow card was correct.

    "Equally I am sorry for some of the tone and content of my post-match interview. Although it was not my intention I accept now it appears that I was questioning Mr Tierney's integrity. I take ownership of this. On reflection, the words I used were inappropriate. Both of these incidents were driven by emotion. I was overly emotional at some of the decisions made, which then led to frustration and a feeling of unfairness. I carried that emotion into the mandated and time sensitive post-match press commitments.

    "I do ask that you look at the comments I made in the following context; we are, as managers, contractually required to make ourselves available in a timely fashion. This doesn't readily allow for a more measured approach. Also, English is not my primary language and at times what I mean to say and how I say it can conflict. For the avoidance of doubt, I was trying to express how I felt whilst dealing with the frustration I was feeling around a number of decisions made during the game. It was about feelings and emotions.

    "To be absolutely clear, I know that Mr. Tierney, along with all other officials, do their work without any pre-conceived bias or prejudice. Although not an excuse, I believe we have made up a high percentage of Mr Tierney's matches this season? Something in the region of 20% of the matches he has officiated have involved my team. I do not offer this as a defence, rather it is an observation and could be a reason for both the build-up of frustration governed by an inadvertent accumulation of incidents over an extended period.

    "Hopefully you saw in my very next press conference (Tuesday 2nd May, 2023) I sought to clarify and correct any wrong conclusions drawn from the words I used in the interview on Sky Sports, which took place matter minutes after a tumultuous and highly dramatic game ended."

  3. FA's details of 'unwarranted attack'
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    FA's details of 'unwarranted attack'

    The FA attached an appendix to its official statement entitled 'the FA v Jurgen Klopp', which detailed what PGMOL called an "unwarranted attack" from the Liverpool boss towards the officials at Anfield during the Spurs game on April 30:

    "Mr Brooks contacted Mr Tierney and said Jurgen Klopp has just run and celebrated in my face. I think it’s a yellow card mate, minimum. It is clear that Mr Brooks considered Mr Klopp’s conduct to be misplaced celebration rather than an aggressive or threatening move. Mr Tierney responded, saying that he had not seen what happened and needed advice whether the sanction should be a yellow or red card.

    "The Video Assistant Referee reviewed the video footage and advised Confirming yellow card. Confirming yellow card Jurgen Klopp. Armed with this confirmation Mr Tierney went to Mr Klopp and showed him a yellow card, saying right…I have to show you yellow. …it could be red, but I am going to show you yellow. He said yellow. We will give you the benefit of the doubt, don’t do anything more…. Mr Klopp’s frustrated reaction can be clearly seen in the video footage.

    "Although these events provide essential background to charge, Mr Klopp’s conduct on or by the pitch does not in itself give rise to any charge. The charge that the commission is considering is based on what Mr Klopp said in a television interview that took place immediately after the match."

  4. FA acceptance of his apology
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    FA acceptance of his apology

    Klopp may have escaped further penalties because of his whole-hearted apology, which has been accepted by the FA. There has been a significant effort made by the Liverpool boss to clear any allegations of bias, although the FA and PGMOL are working to stamp out such comments, which may damage referees' reputations in the media.

    This is what the FA said in response to Klopp's letter:

    "The commission therefore accepts Mr Klopp’s apology, and recognises that he was speaking in the heat of the moment. Nevertheless, Mr Klopp is a high profile figure, who is required to lead by example. He has a history of breaches, most recently in November 2022. The assertions that Mr Klopp made against Mr Tierney were unacceptable, ranging as they did beyond the immediate match.

    "The Professional Game Match Officials Ltd was sufficiently concerned by what it saw as an unwarranted attack on Mr Tierney’s integrity."