Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has been served an extra one-match ban for his improper conduct during the team’s win against Newcastle United at St. James Park last month.
Van Dijk who was red carded in the 28 minute for fouling Alexander Isak has also been fined £100,000 after he admitted his wrongdoing.
The Netherlands international confronted referee John Brooks and exchanged words with the fourth official before leaving the field, something that did not sit well with the authorities.
“The defender admitted that he acted in an improper manner and used abusive and insulting words towards a match official after being sent off, and the sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent regulatory commission,” the FA said in a statement.
The 32-year-old Dutch defender was initially banned for the Aston Villa match on September 3. Now, he’ll also miss the Wolves game on September 16.
Van Dijk publicly accepted the decision on Instagram, expressing remorse for letting frustration dictate his actions during the intense moment.
“It was my first red card of my Liverpool career and I let my frustrations get the better of me in an intense and heated moment. I apologised immediately after the game to the match officials and take full responsibility,” the defender said.
Howard Webb, the referees’ chief, emphasized that officials would not tolerate bad behaviour from players and coaches this season.
He supported Brooks’ decision to send off Van Dijk, citing the clear foul on Isak and the denial of a goal-scoring opportunity.
“We think it’s a good identification of a foul by John Brooks the referee. It’s not only a free-kick but it also denies Alexander Isak an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. He has to be sent off in this circumstance and the VAR checks it,” Webb opined.
The incident occurred shortly after Liverpool conceded the opening goal to Anthony Gordon.
Subsequently, Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez scored twice as Liverpool secured a 2-1 victory, despite the setback caused by Van Dijk’s red card.