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PREMIER LEAGUE

What have Liverpool said about the Tottenham Hotspur VAR decision?

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was furious that a “significant human error” resulted in a Luis Diaz goal being wrongfully disallowed.

Update:
Jürgen Klopp, entrenador del Liverpool, protesta durante el partido ante el Tottenham.
HENRY NICHOLLSAFP

Liverpool have released a statement criticising the “unacceptable” explanation offered by officials in the aftermath of their loss to Tottenham Hotspur.

Despite VAR being used in the Premier League game on Saturday, a mix-up between match officials meant that a crucial first half goal from Liverpool’s Luis Diaz was wrongfully disallowed.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said that a “significant human error” had been made in the decision to rule the goal out for offside.

A statement from Liverpool read: “It is clear that the correct application of the laws of the game did not occur, resulting in sporting integrity being undermined.”

The club added that the decision to categorise the incident as a “significant human error” also threatened the integrity of the pending review. Liverpool argued that “any and all outcomes should be established only by the review” into the incident.

Liverpool warn of additions pressures brought by VAR

The decision to disallow the goal came after a surprisingly short amount of time, raising immediate questions about the processes at play. It later transpired that the VAR officials had misunderstood the assistant referee’s on-field decision.

VAR officials thought that the on-field decision had been a goal, so they quickly ‘approved’ the decision. However the referee had actually given a free kick for the offside, meaning that Spurs were immediately able to restart the game.

In their statement Liverpool said: “We fully accept the pressures that match officials work under but these pressures are supposed to be alleviated, not exacerbated, by the existence and implementation of VAR.”

Joel Matip scored a late own goal to consign nine-man Liverpool to defeat.
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Joel Matip scored a late own goal to consign nine-man Liverpool to defeat.PETER CZIBORRAAction Images via Reuters

In this instance, the involvement of VAR had caused a misunderstanding between matchday officials and made their lives more difficult.

Liverpool’s statement criticised the fact that “sufficient time was not afforded to allow the correct decision to be made and that there was no subsequent intervention.”

This high-profile error could well spark a fresh debate about the role of VAR in the Premier League and changes that could be made to offer officials greater support.