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Jurgen Klopp charged by FA over Kevin Friend comments

The English Football Association have charged Jurgen Klopp following his comments about referee Kevin Friend in the aftermath of Liverpool's 1-1 draw with West Ham United on Feb. 4.

The Liverpool manager has until 6 p.m. local time on Feb. 18 to respond.

In a postmatch interview with Sky Sports, Klopp suggested Friend did not "want to open the gap a bit more" after half-time as the match officials made a clear mistake in the first half.

"Jurgen Klopp has today been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3," an FA statement said on Wednesday. "It is alleged that comments he made in a postmatch interview... breached Rule E3(1) as they questioned the integrity of the match referee and/or implied bias."

Liverpool went 1-0 up against West Ham through a Sadio Mane goal in the 22nd minute, despite James Milner clearly being offside in the build-up. Michail Antonio equalised for the hosts six minutes later.

"[We] scored a goal, which I heard after the game, was offside, which explains a little bit the second half," Klopp afterward. "I think the ref knew at half-time, I only knew after the game. He knew it, for sure, at half-time and then you saw there was a lot of strange situations -- not decisive, just rhythm-breakers. That obviously didn't help us.

Klopp added: "In the second half there were so many situations -- 50-50s, 60-40s or whatever -- and a free-kick for the other team.

"As a human being, if I would have known that I had made a big mistake in the first half [then] I don't want to open the gap up a bit more.

"The refs are obviously human beings and I understand that. In the game I did not understand it because I had no clue that our goal was offside."

In December, the FA hit Klopp with a £8000 fine for improper conduct as he celebrated a stoppage-time winner against Everton by running to the centre circle.

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