Liverpool and Netherlands star Virgil van Dijk found himself in another exchange with a referee on Sunday, just days after being fined for a similar incident during Liverpool’s match against Newcastle.
Last month, Van Dijk received a red card at St James’ Park for a foul on Alexander Isak just outside the box, as Isak was about to break through on goal. Van Dijk vehemently disagreed with the decision and directed his frustration toward referee John Brooks, the fourth official, and even Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
As a result of the incident, Van Dijk received a standard one-match suspension. However, the Football Association (FA) extended the ban by an additional match and imposed a £100,000 fine on him for his “improper manner” during the incident.
Virgil van Dijk, who had already missed Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Aston Villa earlier this month, will now be absent for Saturday’s match against Wolves as Premier League action resumes after the international break.
Van Dijk likely welcomed the opportunity to gain some playing time for the Netherlands during their Euro 2024 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland on Sunday. However, it appears that things didn’t go exactly as planned during that match.
Van Dijk rages at referee
After just three minutes of play at the Aviva Stadium, Van Dijk conceded a penalty for handball. It was put away by Norwich forward Adam Idah to give Stephen Kenny’s side a surprise lead.
But the Liverpool star was once again angry with the decision made by the referee, and remonstrated prior to the spot kick being taken.
The ball struck Van Dijk on the arm from close range following an Irish set piece, but the defender clearly felt there wasn’t enough in it to warrant a penalty kick – a feeling echoed by his team-mates.
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Virgil van Dijk was fortunate not to receive a booking for the incident during the Netherlands’ match. Despite falling behind early in the game, the Netherlands managed to respond with goals from Cody Gakpo, Van Dijk’s club teammate, and Wout Weghorst, who had previously been on loan at Manchester United.
The exchange with the referee should serve as a reminder for Van Dijk to exercise caution when he returns to Premier League action after serving his suspension. Maintaining discipline on the pitch will be crucial to avoid further sanctions.