liverpool news

Benitez lands improper conduct charge from FA

September 2, 2009
By Soccernet staff

Rafael Benitez is in hot water with the Football Association after comments made following his side's defeat at Tottenham on the opening weekend of the season.

GettyImagesRafa Benitez: Disciplinary charge

The Liverpool boss has been charged with improper conduct and has until September 15 to respond to the charge.

Benitez was furious with the officials after they failed to award two penalties which the manager felt his side had earned.

Benitez was left less than impressed by referee Phil Dowd and claimed fourth official Stuart Attwell was "too young'' after watching his side lose 2-1 at White Hart Lane.

Benitez was irritated when referee Dowd did not point to the spot after substitute Andriy Voronin appeared to be blocked by Assou-Ekotto, and also when further appeals for a handball against the same defender during the closing stages were dismissed.

Assistant manager Sammy Lee was eventually sent from the dugout for taking his protests too far. Lee was particularly vocal towards Attwell.

Benitez said: "Everybody could see there was a penalty against Voronin. It was so clear, it is unbelievable. With this referee, I knew this (another penalty) was impossible.''

Asked for his overall assessment of Dowd, Benitez went to his pocket and pulled out his glasses.

The Liverpool manager added: "We had a meeting the other day, and they said we cannot talk about the referee as a person or the decisions, but I think everybody today could see the situation.''

Discussing Attwell, the Liverpool manager said: "The fourth official is a young referee, and maybe he needs to calm down a bit. I do not know how old he is, but the fourth official is too young.''