The Premier temporarily suspends an assistant referee for an apparent elbow to Andy Robertson

LONDON, 10 Apr. (dpa/EP) –

Assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis will sit out of any Premier League match as he is investigated by the FA for an apparent nudge against Liverpool player Andy Robertson.

The incident occurred just after the half-time whistle was blown during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Sunday. Sky Sports cameras panned over the confrontation and showed Hatzidakis apparently raising his arm and making contact with Robertson, who complained that he had been hit by the referee.

Robertson, furious, was grabbed by his companions; he received a yellow card, but Hatzidakis’ action will come under greater scrutiny.

The Premier League referee body, the PGMOL, confirmed that it sends the linesman to the ‘fridge’. “PGMOL will not appoint Constantine Hatzidakis for matches in any of the competitions in which he participates while the FA investigates the incident involving assistant referee and Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson at Anfield,” the agency said.

Keith Hackett, the former head of PGMOL, told BBC Radio Five Live that if he is ultimately found guilty, “his career will be in jeopardy.” “I tried to find an excuse to explain why he did it and it occurred to me: was he afraid? He shouldn’t be, because he is in a very secure protected environment,” he stressed.

“But he reacted in a way that he should not have reacted, and here we are talking about a referee and not a decision, but an action by a referee, and it is clear that he lost his composure,” he added.

Another former top-flight referee, Mark Halsey, has focused on Robertson’s behavior and believes a penalty is the most likely punishment for Hatzidakis if he is shown to have committed an offence. In his article in The Sun, Halsey draws a parallel with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, recently banned for eight games for shoving referee Chris Kavanagh.

“It looks to me like Robertson is going to grab Hatzidakis, brush his arm and catch him accidentally. I can’t think of an assistant player who would hit a player in the face. Surely from a camera angle you can’t see it.” well. But it is necessary to wonder why Robertson has gone to approach the assistant referee”, signalled.

“I’ve heard people say this is the end of the linesman’s career, but, like Aleksandar Mitrovic, it’s his full-time job. However, if he is proven guilty and used the elbow intentionally, then “He will face the same consequences as the Fulham striker. Referees are the guardians of the rules and must be held accountable if found guilty of this type of behavior towards a player.”