Liverpool to 'explore range of options available' following VAR error

Reds claim 'sporting integrity has been undermined' following decision to not intervene in Luiz Diaz's offside goal against Tottenham

Liverpool players react to Luis Diaz's goal against Tottenham being ruled offside. Getty Images
Powered by automated translation

Liverpool said that "sporting integrity has been undermined" by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) error in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League loss to Tottenham, adding they will "explore the range of options available".

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the referees’ governing body in England, admitted VAR officials Darren England and Dan Cook failed to act after Luis Diaz’ 34th-minute strike at Tottenham on Saturday was wrongly disallowed for offside. Still images of the incident showed Tottenham's Cristian Romero playing Diaz onside.

The decision was made when the Premier League match was goalless but after Curtis Jones had been contentiously sent off following England’s intervention. Liverpool also had substitute Diogo Jota sent off as Spurs grabbed a last-minute winner through a Joel Matip own goal.

England and Cook were stood down from duty for the rest of the weekend but Liverpool issued a statement on Sunday saying they will pursue the matter.

The statement read: “Liverpool Football Club acknowledges PGMOL’s admission of their failures last night. It is clear that the correct application of the laws of the game did not occur, resulting in sporting integrity being undermined. 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."

Liverpool said it was “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,” the club's statement added. "Any and all outcomes should be established only by the review and with full transparency."

Liverpool said they need to explore their options, "given the clear need for escalation and resolution.”

Spurs v Liverpool ratings

PGMOL had earlier acknowledged that “a significant human error" occurred in the first half of the game and said it would conduct a full review.

It is understood the correct procedure was followed for the controversial decision but the mistake was down to human error.

The lines on the officials' screens were drawn in accordance with normal procedure and every other aspect was checked.

However, what is being described by sources as a lapse of concentration led to a loss of focus around the initial on-field decision and then a 'check complete' being confirmed rather than an intervention which would have resulted in the goal being awarded.

It is understood that referees' chief Howard Webb has spoken to Liverpool about the incident.

Updated: October 02, 2023, 5:15 AM