Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been handed an extra one-game ban and a fine for his comments after being shown a red card during the match against Newcastle last month. The incident occurred in the first half of the dramatic 2-1 victory, when Van Dijk made a last-man challenge on Alexander Isak, resulting in his dismissal.
Van Dijk expressed his disbelief at referee John Brooks’ decision to brandish a red card and protested to both Brooks and fourth official Craig Pawson. These actions led to a charge from the Football Association (FA). The Liverpool captain referred to the decision as a “f***ing joke” before leaving the field. Having admitted to acting improperly towards a match official, he has now faced the consequences.
While Van Dijk has already served a one-match ban for the red card received against Aston Villa, he will now miss the upcoming game against Wolves on September 16 due to the additional one-match suspension.
In addition to the ban, Van Dijk has been fined £100,000 for using abusive and insulting words towards officials. The FA stated that the defender admitted to acting improperly and using offensive language toward a match official. The sanctions were imposed by an independent regulatory commission, and detailed reasons for the case will be published in due course.
Recently, an audio recording of the conversations between the VAR, referee, and players during Van Dijk’s red card incident was released. The VAR official Stuart Attwell and his assistant were heard making various checks, while Brooks maintained that he made the correct decision. At the end of the conversation, Van Dijk expressed his frustration, describing the situation as a “f**king joke.”
With Ibrahima Konate still recovering from an injury, it is likely that Joe Gomez and Joel Matip will continue to start together in central defense for the game against Wolves. The absence of Van Dijk will be felt, as he is a key player for Liverpool and a leader on the field.