Klopp fined £45,000 over West Ham referee comments

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The manager accepted the FA charge after claiming bias from referee Kevin Friend in the 1-1 draw at the London Stadium

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been fined £45,000 over comments he made regarding referee Kevin Friend following his side's draw with West Ham, the Football Association has confirmed.

The Reds boss called out Friend for favouring the Irons with a number of debatable decisions at the London Stadium as the Merseyside outfit dropped points in their push for the title.

Liverpool had benefited early in the match when James Milner was not flagged offside before laying on Sadio Mane for the opening goal.

Klopp said the Reds were helped by the first mistake but felt from there on his side had not been treated fairly as the officials tried to even up the playing field.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "There were so many situations where it was 50-50 or 60-40... [he gave a] free-kick for the other team.

"As a human being, I know if I make a big mistake in the first half, I don't want to open the gap even more."

And having previously been charged with misconduct by the FA, he will now have to pay a heavy price. 

"Jurgen Klopp has been fined £45,000 after accepting an FA charge for comments made following Liverpool’s league game against West Ham United on 4 February 2019," the FA said in a statement. "His comments made during a post-match interview breached FA Rule E3(1), as they questioned the integrity of the match referee and/or implied bias."

It is the second time this season Klopp has been hit by a fine from the FA.

The Reds manager was fined £8,000 for entering the pitch in celebration after Divock Origi's late goal gave Liverpool the victory over Everton in the last Merseyside Derby.

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Klopp's Liverpool side are currently second in the Premier League to Manchester City by virtue of goal difference but have a game in hand on the reigning champions.

They will play that game on Sunday as they travel to Old Trafford to face rejuvenated rivals Manchester United, who will be looking to avenge a 3-1 loss at Anfield in December that saw Jose Mourinho sacked in the days following.

A win or draw will see Liverpool return to the top of the Premier League table, as Man City play in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea, also on Sunday. 

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