As Liverpool recover from their defeat at the hands of Manchester United in Sunday’s Premier League match, they might yet come face to face with a new setback. Football Association officials have charged the Red Devils’ Martin Skrtel for offense against the Red’s goalkeeper David De Gea.
In a statement released by the FA on Monday, officials charged Skrtel for allegedly stepping on De Gea in the closing minutes of the match.
However, as neither match referee Martin Atkinson nor his assistants where able to see the offense firsthand, the association had to rely on television footage in reviewing the incident. “In Premier League matches, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel of former elite officials will be asked by the FA to review the footage independently of each other,” the statement read.
In the provided footage, Skrtel appeared to drive his cleats onto De Gea’s leg during the incident. The association said that, under the rules, in order to come up with a charge, the three panelists must agree with the decision.
“In this instance, the decision by the panel was unanimous,” the statement noted.
If found guilty of the charge, Skrtel will be slapped with a three-game ban, which means he will be missing out on Liverpool’s Premier League matches against Arsenal and Newcastle, as well as the team’s FA Cup quarterfinal replay.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers defended Skrtel, saying that the supposed “stamping” was not intentional on Skrtel’s part. “Martin is not that type of player, he was just a fraction out.”
‘The ball was played through but it probably looks worse in slow motion,” the manager insisted.
The FA gave Skrtel until 6 pm of Tuesday to respond to the allegation.
For Liverpool, this would be the second player that they would potentially lose after Sunday’s game, as team captain Steven Gerrard was also booted out due to a similar infraction against Liverpool’s Ander Herrera.