London – Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been asked by the Football Association to explain his controversial comments about referee Lee Mason following his side's defeat against Manchester City.
Rodgers questioned the decision to appoint Mason for Liverpool's 2-1 Premier League loss at City on Thursday because the official is from the Greater Manchester area.
The Reds boss was frustrated by a number of decisions made by Bolton official Mason and his assistants at Eastlands, but he has now been told he must explain why he was so critical.
Liverpool's primary source of frustration was an incorrect offside call in the first half when Raheem Sterling was clean through.
Luis Suarez was also denied a free-kick on the edge of the area and a penalty after clashes with Joleon Lescott later in the game.
An FA spokesman said: “We have contacted Brendan Rodgers to seek his observations in relation to his post-match comments made following the game at Manchester City.”
Rodgers has until January 2 to respond to the FA's request.
The FA will then consider whether any further action is necessary.
Rodgers could be warned as to his future conduct or hit with a financial penalty if found guilty of any charge.
Speaking before he was contacted by the FA on Friday, Rodgers made it clear he will fight his corner because he is convinced he was making a valid point about where Mason is from.
“I was only speaking honestly after the game. I think the FA and the Referees' Association know perfectly well I am someone who engages in supporting the referees,” Rodgers said.
“I am not one that berates referees at all after games, I always respect them. I ask my staff to be respectful.
“I think they know when I come out and make a statement like I did Ä I was obviously emotional after the game Ä it is obviously something I speak honestly on. Whatever action they take they will decide.
“In terms of geography, I certainly wasn't questioning the integrity of referees.
“It was more the logic of it in terms of having a referee from that part of the world refereeing a game in Manchester.
“I wouldn't suspect that Mike Dean, from the Wirral, has refereed many games for Liverpool over the years.” – Sapa-AFP