As you may recall, Liverpool were recently dumped out of the FA Cup by West Brom in a VAR-infested encounter that saw the Baggies emerge 3-2 winners at Anfield.
After referee Craig Pawson paused the game several times to use the video assistant to query a series of decisions, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was left feeling short-changed by the amount of injury time that was duly added on in recompense.
Indeed, the German coach went as far as directly accusing broadcasters BT Sports of pressuring the officials to skimp on stoppage time.
Speaking after the final whistle, Klopp blustered:
What I heard was that the actual extra-time in the first half should have been 10 minutes. It was only four minutes. I heard that television said it (can’t be) longer than four minutes.
Of course that’s not possible, you can’t cut match time because there is something else to broadcast. I don’t know what was afterwards, maybe the news or something. It was 10 minutes and so you need to play 10 minutes longer. You cannot say it’s now a little bit too long.
BT Sport host Jake Humphrey was one of the first to denounce Klopp’s knee-jerk conspiracy theory as “laughable“.
The debunking has continued today with a statement from the man in charge of the BT Sport coverage of the match, senior director Simon Hughes.
I directed the match and I can categorically state that at no point did I (can add ‘have I’ or ‘would I’ to that) ever try to influence the officials, including the allocation of stoppage time. Not only would it be unprofessional, it would also be utterly futile. https://t.co/GD7SfOVn66
— SPJ HughesBTS (@spjhughesBBC) January 30, 2018
Referencing a link to Klopp’s quotes, Hughes said:
I directed the match and I can categorically state that at no point did I (can add ‘have I’ or ‘would I’ to that) ever try to influence the officials, including the allocation of stoppage time.
Not only would it be unprofessional, it would also be utterly futile.
Given that Klopp has also tried to blame the wind, a dry pitch and a midweek tactical session being skipped due to illness for defeats so far this season, we think you can go ahead and take his irked post-match ramblings with an enormously generous fistful of coarse sea salt.