Bournemouth vs. Liverpool referee already made “f***ing joke” decision

Bournemouth vs. Liverpool in the fourth round of the League Cup will be refereed by John Brooks, who has already been involved in controversy this season.

It is rare now that an official will be appointed a game without at least a minor concern over their performance in a previous fixture.

That is the sad state of refereeing in the Premier League, which has only been made worse by the introduction of VAR and the failure in its implementation.

Following the debacle at Tottenham and its furious reaction, things have settled down to an extent for Liverpool, with fewer controversies in recent games.

Wednesday evening brings a reminder of a run-in from earlier in the season, though, with Brooks due to referee the clash with Bournemouth.

There is no VAR at this stage of the League Cup, with Lee Betts and Akil Howson assistant referees and James Linington fourth official.

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 27, 2023: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk protests to the referee John Brooks after being is shown a red card and sent off during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Brooks will referee his first Liverpool game since the 2-1 comeback at Newcastle in August, which saw Virgil van Dijk sent off in the first half.

Van Dijk was adjudged to have denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity when he brought down Alexander Isak as the last man, though it was certainly questionable whether that was the case.

A lengthy VAR check followed, with the Liverpool captain shown a red card and subsequently banned for an extended two matches for his response.

The Dutchman told Brooks his decision was a “fucking joke,” before an incident involving fourth official Craig Pawson before heading down the tunnel.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' react as referee John Brooks only issues a yellow card to Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The FA handed out a £100,000 fine to Van Dijk, which is one of the worst in history, with the defender missing the wins over Aston Villa and Wolves due to his suspension.

Brooks has so far refereed three Liverpool games, the first being the Reds’ 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth at Dean Court last season.

His other game in charge was the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in May, when he overlooked a red-card challenge from Tyrone Mings that saw his studs leave an imprint on Cody Gakpo’s chest.