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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Rodgers fined for criticising ref Mason

The Football Association has fined Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers £8,000 over critical comments he made about referee Lee Mason following his side's 2-1 Premier League defeat at Manchester City on Dec. 26.

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Rodgers described Mason’s performance as "horrendous" and suggested the referee's Bolton home was too close to the City of Manchester Stadium, bringing into question the official's impartiality.

A statement on the FA's official website read: "Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been fined £8,000 and warned as to his future conduct after he admitted an FA misconduct charge.

"Rodgers was charged for a breach of FA Rule E3 in that his postmatch comments following Liverpool's game at Manchester City on 26 December 2013 constituted improper conduct in that they called into question the integrity of the match referee, and/or implied that the match referee was motivated by bias; and/or brought the game into disrepute; and/or amounted to a failure to act in the best interests of the game."

The Liverpool boss was angry that Raheem Sterling had a first-half goal wrongly ruled out for offside, and also believed Luis Suarez should have had a late penalty.

Rodgers decided not to contest the charge, and he was fined in his absence at a hearing on Thursday.

He had said in his postmatch news conference: "I was very proud of the players, I thought they were absolutely outstanding. They had no help from the officials. I thought today they were horrendous in terms of performance. We had nothing that went our way at all.

"I thought we never got any decisions. The linesman on the offside one, he wasn’t even on the same cut of grass. If you are working at this level, you have to get it right. It’s not even a difficult one. It is a perfectly-timed run and he is given offside when he is through one-on-one on goal. They are big moments in big games.

"There is another incident when Luis [Suarez] doesn’t get a free kick when Joleon Lescott comes through him and it is waved play on. It is arguable it is a penalty at the end. Hopefully we don’t have a Greater Manchester referee again on a Liverpool-Manchester City [game]."

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