Full review undertaken on Liverpool VAR controversy as referees’ UAE trip questioned

Full review undertaken on Liverpool VAR controversy as referees’ UAE trip questioned

The Premier League are waiting for a review into Luis Diaz’s disallowed goal, after Liverpool claimed “sporting integrity was undermined” in their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham on Saturday.

Referees’ body PGMOL are conducting a full review after acknowledging a “significant human error” led to Diaz’s goal being incorrectly disallowed for offside.

In a statement yesterday, Liverpool said they will “explore the range of options available given the clear need for escalation and resolution”.

PGMOL admitted that VAR official Darren England and assistant Dan Cook failed to act after Diaz’s 34th-minute strike at Tottenham was wrongly ruled out for offside. Still images of the incident showed Spurs defender Cristian Romero playing Diaz onside.

Liverpool say PGMOL’s explanation of “significant human error” is “unacceptable” and have called for a “review with full transparency”.

The VAR officials involved in the controversial incident were part of a refereeing team that worked in the United Arab Emirates two days earlier. England oversaw VAR for the match between Sharjah and Al-Ain in the UAE Pro League last Thursday, when Cook was assistant referee.

Michael Oliver, who was fourth official at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, refereed Al-Ain’s 3-2 win. Howard Webb, head of PGMOL, sanctioned the visit.

Liverpool said yesterday: “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. It is therefore unsatisfactory that sufficient time was not afforded to allow the correct decision to be made and that there was no subsequent intervention.

“That such failings have already been categorised as ‘significant human error’ is also unacceptable. Any and all outcomes should be established only by the review and with full transparency.

“This is vital for the reliability of future decision making, as it applies to all clubs, with learnings being used to make improvements to processes in order to ensure this kind of situation cannot occur again. In the meantime, we will explore the range of options available, given the clear need for escalation and resolution.”