The Controversy Around Mo Salah: Liverpool Expresses Outrage Over Unfair Treatment
Unfair Treatment in the Spotlight
Liverpool, the stalwarts of English football, have articulated their growing discontent at the ‘unfair treatment’ of the prodigious forward Mohamed ‘Mo’ Salah by referees. The spark was ignited following comments made by manager Jurgen Klopp concerning referee Paul Tierney after a sizzling 4-3 triumph against Tottenham Hotspurs in April.
A tumultuous sequence of events unravelled, culminating in Liverpool conveying their grievances to the FA. Klopp was subsequently slapped with a £75,000 fine and a two-match ban. One match ban remains suspended, implying a missed final home game against Aston Villa this Saturday.
Yet, it seems Klopp’s clash with Tierney wasn’t a standalone event but the result of a series of incidents, with two notable confrontations involving Salah at the forefront – during both the Tottenham and Man City clashes.
The Salah Controversies: Spurs and Man City
In both these high-octane matches, Salah was brought down within plain view of the linesman, with no fouls being awarded, much to Liverpool’s chagrin. The controversy escalated further when in his battle with Spurs defender Ben Davies, the foul surprisingly went the other way. This raised a brow of not only Klopp but also Salah, Liverpool’s number 11.
Subsequent to publicising Klopp’s punishment, the FA disclosed the case’s detailed documents. Buried within these notes was an intriguing revelation – during the investigation, Liverpool raised concerns over the perceived unfair treatment of Salah by officials.
“Liverpool penned a lengthy letter on 3 May 2023, expressing its conviction that Salah hadn’t received a fair shake from several refereeing decisions throughout the season,” the statement read. Liverpool emphasised that they weren’t levelling allegations against Tierney, but noted his involvement in what they deemed to be multiple questionable decisions.
Tierney’s connections with Liverpool date back to 2017 and, interestingly, he was absent from the contentious Man City clash. However, it’s becoming abundantly clear that Salah, the Egyptian marvel, rarely receives the benefit of the doubt when it comes to on-field challenges. With Salah fouled only 31 times in the Premier League this season, it’s clear that Liverpool’s discontent has a solid foundation.
How Salah Compares
Remarkably, Salah’s fouls rank him lower than 61 other players, and half as many times as nine distinct players, including Arsenal and England winger Bukayo Saka. Renowned commentator Henry Winter recently voiced his support for Saka during Arsenal’s 3-0 loss to Brighton. “At some point officials are going to have to discuss whether they are prepared to protect players like Bukayo Saka,” Winter suggested.
According to WhoScored, Salah attempted an impressive 120 dribbles in this season’s Premier League. Only six players have attempted more, with Saka leading with 156. Salah boasts a 37.5% dribble success rate, averaging 3.9 attempted dribbles per foul given.
The FA hasn’t yet addressed Liverpool’s complaint regarding Salah’s treatment, focusing their response on Klopp. However, it’s clear that this issue isn’t going away. For now, the eyes of the footballing world remain fixed on how the saga unfolds.