Virgil van Dijk has been hit with an additional one-match suspension and a £100,000 fine for his comments after receiving a red card during the dramatic 2-1 victory over Newcastle last month.
The Dutch defender was shown a red card in the first half for a last-man challenge on Alexander Isak, a decision that left Van Dijk visibly stunned. His protests to referee John Brooks and fourth official Craig Pawson led to a charge from the FA.
Labeling the referee’s decision a “f***ing joke,” Van Dijk’s use of abusive and insulting words towards officials resulted in an admission of improper conduct. Having already served a one-match ban for the red card against Aston Villa, the centre-back will now miss the upcoming trip to Wolves on September 16 due to the additional suspension.
An FA statement outlined the charges: “The defender admitted that he acted in an improper manner and used abusive and insulting words towards a match official after being sent off in the 29th minute, and the sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent regulatory commission. Full written reasons for this case will be published in due course.”
Audio recordings captured conversations between VAR officials, the referee, and players during Van Dijk’s red card incident. Despite various checks by VAR official Stuart Attwell and his assistant, Brooks maintained his initial decision was correct. At the end of the conversation, Van Dijk expressed his frustration, calling the situation a “f**king joke.”
With Ibrahima Konate still recovering from injury, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are likely to start together in central defence against Wolves in Van Dijk’s absence.