Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted “the whole thing should never have happened” as he explained his part in the row which has blown up between him and referee Paul Tierney.
The Football Association is investigating comments by the Reds boss which appeared to call into question the integrity of the official following Sunday’s dramatic 4-3 win over Tottenham.
After his side’s late winner, Klopp ran down the touchline to celebrate in front of fourth official John Brooks and received a yellow card from Tierney.
“The whole situation shouldn’t have happened at all. It was out of emotion, out of anger in that moment. That’s why I celebrated the way I celebrated,” Klopp said.
“I didn’t say anything wrong. I couldn’t get close to the fourth official and I didn’t want to get close to him.
“Paul Tierney came over and I didn’t expect a red card I expected a yellow. He said to me: ‘For me it’s a red card,’ but he gave me a yellow.
“After the game I tried to calm down and didn’t properly. I said (in TV interviews): ‘What he said to me was not OK’. I opened the box which I didn’t want to open.
“The rest was things I said about how I felt in that moment and Paul Tierney doing our games. I’m not a resentful person but these things which happen in the past happens, not intentionally but they are there.
“Obviously the refs are really angry about what I said. I did a lot of things that day but I didn’t lie.”
Klopp said after the game that he did not know what the official “has against us”.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s home match against Fulham, Klopp added: “With all the things I maybe expect a punishment. Refs think I questioned their integrity, which if I am sitting here now calm, I don’t do. We have to wait to see what they come back with.”
Shortly after the Spurs game the Professional Game Match Officials Limited responded.
Its statement read: “PGMOL is aware of the comments made by Jurgen Klopp after his side’s fixture with Tottenham Hotspur.
“Match officials in the Premier League are recorded in all games via a communications system and having fully reviewed the audio of referee Paul Tierney from today’s fixture, we can confirm he acted in a professional manner throughout including when issuing the caution to the Liverpool manager so, therefore, we strongly refute any suggestion that Tierney’s actions were improper.”