FA Cup final referee to be man Klopp blasted for ‘not making normal decisions’

The FA Cup final is set to be refereed by the official who Jurgen Klopp slammed for "not making normal decisions" earlier this season.

Liverpool will take on Chelsea in the Wembley showdown on May 14. According to The Telegraph, the man in the middle will be Craig Pawson, who infuriated the Reds boss in their 3-2 defeat at West Ham last November for not overturning a goal and not awarding a red card.

Klopp said post-match: "People will say I'm looking for excuses, I'm not. I accept we're not too good to lose football games. Today we lost it, that's not nice but I accept it.

"But when we speak about situations in a game you just need normal decisions from a referee. He didn't do that."

Pawson hasn't refereed a Liverpool game since then. And that wasn't his first run-in with Klopp either as there had previously been another incident during a Premier League match with Wolves back in December 2020 where he was screamed at by the German coach.

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The 43-year-old is the highest-ranked English official to not have yet refereed an FA Cup final, an honour which is usually only awarded once but was changed in the past two years due to lockdown restrictions.

Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor took charge of the those matches as they had previously done so and it was thought it would be unfair to give a referee his one final without a full crowd in attendance.

Pawson's last game officiating Chelsea was their 1-0 away defeat to Manchester City in January. He recently made a controversial call in Tottenham's clash Brighton.

Pundit Jermaine Jenas thought he should have sent off Spurs forward Dejan Kulusevski, telling BT Sport: "This is subjective to the referee and how he sees or reads it. The issue I had is I don’t know how he has not seen that as attempting to hurt somebody, which would come under the violent conduct rule, and be a straight red card."

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