Liverpool expressed concerns about the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) error during their 2-1 defeat to Tottenham on Saturday, stating it “undermined sporting integrity.”
Despite finishing with nine players and conceding an own goal by Joel Matip in stoppage time, Liverpool believes they should have taken the lead in the first half through Diaz, whose goal referees wrongly ruled out for offside.
VAR failed to rectify the incorrect decision, and the English referees’ body, PGMOL, blamed “significant human error” in a Premier League game statement.
Liverpool released a statement on Sunday, expressing dissatisfaction, stating, “It is clear that the rules of the game were not applied correctly, undermining sporting integrity. It is unsatisfactory that sufficient time was not given to allow the correct decision to be made, and there was no subsequent intervention.”
PGMOL acknowledged that disallowing Diaz’s goal was a “clear and obvious factual error” that should have been corrected through VAR intervention. They also announced a full review into the error’s circumstances.
Liverpool’s statement emphasized transparency and learning from such incidents to prevent their recurrence, stating, “Categorizing these failings as ‘significant human error’ is unacceptable. Outcomes should be established only by the review with full transparency. This is vital for the reliability of future decision-making applying to all clubs, with learnings used to make process improvements to ensure this situation cannot occur again.”
The club acknowledged referee challenges but argued VAR technology should alleviate them. Liverpool intends to explore available resolution options.
As a consequence of the error, VAR official Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook replaced for subsequent matches at Nottingham Forest-Brentford and Monday’s Fulham-Chelsea game, respectively.
With increased officiating scrutiny, Forest manager Steve Cooper expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to send off Moussa Niakhate in their 1-1 draw with Brentford, stating, “With it being the only Premier League game of the day, the PGMOL needed a real clean day, and unfortunately, they have got the opposite.” He emphasized referees at the right level and performance improvement.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank also criticized VAR, especially penalty claims, including a challenge on forward Yoane Wissa, believing it should have resulted in a clear penalty. Frank expressed disappointment in VAR decisions but acknowledged some incidents’ subjectivity