Assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis ‘punished enough’ for Andy Robertson incident

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The assistant referee involved in an incident with Liverpool’s Andy Robertson has been punished “enough”, says the head of a referees’ charity. Constantine Hatzidakis has been stood down while an investigation into the incident on Sunday, in which he seemed to elbow Robertson, is completed.

Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett said Hatzidakis’ career “could be in jeopardy” if found guilty. “It has been blown a little bit out of proportion,” said Martin Cassidy. Cassidy, the chief executive officer of Ref Support UK, told BBC Sport: “We should never advocate violence or match officials hitting anyone but it genuinely looks like Andy Robertson grabs him and Con pushes him to get off. “They haven’t suspended Andy Robertson. It is a little bit of an overreaction.”

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. Former Blackburn striker Chris Sutton said the assistant referee “has to be banned”. “There is a line,” he told Monday Night Club. “The assistant crossed it in that moment and will probably serve a suspension.”

The Robertson incident follows the eight-game ban given to Fulham striker Alexsandar Mitrovic, who pushed a referee during a match against Manchester United. New York Times football writer Rory Smith said the suggestion Hatzidakis should lose his job is “excessive”. “If his career is over that has a different meaning to someone who does not earn what Mitrovic earns,” Smith said.

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