The English Football Association has charged Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk with improper conduct after allegedly confronting and using foul words on match officials following his red card against Newcastle on Sunday.
The Liverpool captain was sent off for fouling Alexander Isak during Liverpool’s win at St James’ Park. The card means he was given the default one-match ban.
But it appears the ban could be extended after the FA charged him. The defender could now miss an additional match, at least through suspension, after appearing to label the decision as a ‘f***ing joke’, taking time to leave the field of play and then remonstrating with fourth official Craig Pawson.
An FA statement on Tuesday night read: “It’s alleged that the defender acted in an improper manner and/or used abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official after being sent off in the 29th minute.
“Virgil Van Dijk has until Friday, 1 September, to provide a response to this charge.”
— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) August 29, 2023
According to reports by Dailymail, Van Dijk and his representatives are undecided whether to accept or deny the charges.
Football Association’s guidelines stipulate that Van Dijk’s actions could constitute ‘improper conduct’, which covers actions that can be said to be ‘confrontational’ in manner. The player was clearly agitated as he left the field.
The defender’s sending-off was his first for Liverpool since he arrived at Anfield for a then world-record fee of £75m in 2017 from Southampton.
A three-match ban would see him miss Liverpool’s upcoming matches against Aston Villa, Wolves, and West Ham.
Liverpool host Aston Villa on Sunday and will be without their captain, while fellow defender Ibrahim Konate is a doubt for the match after missing the trip to Newcastle with a muscle injury.