Dalglish: officials may spark conspiracy talk


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The Independent Online

Kenny Dalglish has called upon referees to start explaining their decisions, before Liverpool begin thinking they are victims of a conspiracy.

The Anfield manager has been exasperated by a series of decisions in the club's last three games that came to a head on Saturday when Michael Oliver refused to award a penalty for handball against the Aston Villa defender Eric Lichaj and booked Luis Suarez for diving. What particularly angered Dalglish was Oliver's alleged comment to Dirk Kuyt that the American defender had been "unlucky".

Dalglish argued that Liverpool had been the victims of injustice in their two previous matches – the defeat at Newcastle that featured an unpunished handball by Danny Simpson on the line and, far more contentiously, a disallowed goal in the 2-1 home defeat by Wigan. Replays suggested that Suarez used his arm to score.

"In the last three games there have been blatant decisions that have gone against us and are, frankly, inexcusable and I'd say inexplicable as well," said Dalglish. "I won't raise it with the Referees' Association. I have raised it now [in this interview] and it is up to them.

"It would be helpful and more transparent if they told us, if they explained their decisions to us or even just held their hands up and said: 'Sorry, I got that wrong,' and we can see they have integrity.

"Otherwise, people might think there is a conspiracy. We can't believe that, we can't let it affect us and take it into the games that are coming up because that would damage us."

Dalglish may have taken some comfort from reports yesterday that the assistant referee Dave Bryan had been stood down from their match against Blackburn match. Bryan faced criticism on Saturday after Chelsea scored two contentious goals to beat Wigan.