Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk could be facing a longer ban after he ignored orders from referee John Brooks in the Reds' 2-1 win against Newcastle United.
The 32-year-old defender was shown a red card for bringing down Alexander Isak before he could make a goal-scoring attempt. Despite VAR reviewing the incident, the decision to send off Van Dijk stood, leaving Liverpool to play with 10 men for over an hour.
While the Dutchman expressed his displeasure and frustration with the red card on the day, his actions and comments may result in additional punishment from the Football Association (FA). During the incident, Van Dijk appeared to tell Brooks that his decision was a "f***ing joke" and took his time leaving the field while remonstrating with fourth official Craig Pawson.
The FA has charged him with improper conduct, and the Mirror reports he could face an extra match ban for ignoring Brooks' orders. If this happens, Van Dijk may miss Liverpool's game against Wolves on September 16.
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The incident involving Van Dijk's red card was discussed in the first episode of "Match Officials Mic'd Up," a programme presented by Michael Owen that aims to explain and clarify contentious decisions in the Premier League. Former referee Howard Webb supported Brooks' decision, saying: "We think it's a good identification of a foul by John Brooks.
"We see that in the end Van Dijk does play the ball but to get there he clearly kicks through the foot on Alexander Isak. It’s not only a free-kick, but it also denies Isak an obvious goalscoring opportunity.
"He is close to goal, he is going to be able to control the ball quite easily, there are no covering defenders. And, of course, we know the direction is towards the goal.
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"Van Dijk is not protected by the fact that if that had happened in the penalty area it would have been a yellow card for an attempt to play the ball or challenge for the ball. It’s outside the penalty area so therefore it still has to be a red card for [denial of goalscoring opportunity].
"When that happens outside the penalty area, even if the defender is trying to play the ball, which van Dijk was, the fact he committed a foul means he has to be sent off in this circumstance. It’s quite a clear situation."
The audio released revealed that Brooks said: "He (Van Dijk) comes through the man to play the ball" before telling the Liverpool players to "move away" while VAR had a look at it. He then said to a furious Van Dijk: "You will need to go immediately if I tell you you've got to go."
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