Andy Robertson: Assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis stood down during FA investigation

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Assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis will not be involved in any matches while the Football Association investigates an incident in which he appeared to elbow Liverpool defender Andy Robertson.

Hatzidakis made contact with Robertson’s chin after the Scotland international approached him at the end of the first half in Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Arsenal.

An angry Robertson and several team-mates approached referee Paul Tierney, who booked Robertson.

Refereeing body PGMOL said it “will not be appointing Constantine Hatzidakis to fixtures in any of the competition” during the FA investigation.

Former Blackburn striker Chris Sutton told BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday: “He has to be banned. He will have to sit out a number of games.

“You can’t have assistants throwing elbows. I really don’t know what he was thinking.

“I can’t remember another incident like this. Where is the precedent for these things?”

Former Manchester midfielder Roy Keane described 28-year-old Robertson as a “big baby”.

“He grabs the linesman first,” Keane said on Sky Sports. “Robertson should be more worried about his defending. Just get on with the game.”

PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) said it would “review the matter in full”.

‘Hatzidakis’ career could be in jeopardy’

Before Hatzidakis was stood down, former Premier League referee Keith Hackett told 5 Live: “I was trying to find an excuse as to why he did it and I came up with was he in fear?

“He shouldn’t be because he’s in a protected environment with plenty of security.

“But he reacted in a way that he shouldn’t. He’s clearly lost his composure.”

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is serving an eight-game ban for pushing referee Chris Kavanagh in their FA Cup defeat at Manchester United last month.

Hackett said the FA has a big decision to make over a potential punishment for Hatzidakis.

“If he is found guilty of this, his career is in jeopardy,” said Hackett.

“The ban on Aleksandar Mitrovic wasn’t long enough, so this has got to be the equivalent if he is found guilty.

“I would like the FA to convene a meeting this week and resolve the issue by the weekend.”

Writing in the Daily Mail,external-link former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg said Robertson “initiated contact” with Hatzidakis.

“Players can push us officials to the limit,” he said. “They can provoke to the point where you are probably tempted to give them something in return.

“But under no circumstances can we can respond. Certainly not physically. Hatzidakis did and there will now be a clamour for him to be banned.

“I do not think Hatzidakis meant to catch Robertson with his elbow.”

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