Referees’ governing body PGMOL have at last released the audio from Saturday’s VAR blunder that saw Liverpool have a goal wrongly disallowed for offside in their 2-1 defeat to Tottenham.
The Merseysiders thought they had taken the lead in north London shortly after being reduced to 10 men when Mohamed Salah slipped in Luis Diaz, who finished expertly into the far bottom corner.
However, the Colombian’s celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag and after a very quick VAR check play restarted with a free-kick to Spurs – who went on to win the match 2-1 thanks to a late own goal from Joel Matip.
It very quickly became apparent that a mistake had occurred with replays clearly showing that Diaz was in an onside position when Salah released the ball, with PGMOL confirming after the match that a ‘significant human error’ had taken place.
Reports soon emerged that VAR Darren England had incorrectly thought the on-field decision had been a goal, so when he said ‘check complete’ he was confirming that Diaz was onside – but the on-pitch officiating team took that to mean that their original call of offside was correct.
When play restarted with a Tottenham free-kick, the VAR team were no longer able to intervene.
Liverpool were furious with the error and issued a strongly worded statement on Sunday evening saying they would explore options to ‘escalate and resolve’ the matter, before demanding to hear the audio.
PGMOL gave Liverpool access to the VAR audio on Tuesday afternoon and have now released the clip to the public, with the audio revealing how the blunder occurred.
The transcript in full
Assistant Referee 1: Waiting. Delaying, delaying.
VAR: Possible offside, Diaz.
Assistant Referee 2: Give it
Assistant Referee 1: Coming back for the offside, mate.
VAR: Just checking the offside. Delay, delay. Give the kick point, let’s go. Kick point please?
Referee: Yeah, no worries mate.
Replay Operator: So, here we are. Just get a tight angle.
VAR: Yeah, give me 2D line ready after this one for frame two after that.
Replay Operator: So frame two there?
VAR: Perfect, yeah. 2D line on the left boot.
Replay Operator: Let me just switch angles.
VAR: Romero, I think it is?
Replay Operator: I think it might be better with this angle. Happy with this angle?
Replay Operator: 2D line on the boot?
VAR: 2D line on the boot.
Replay Operator: Yep, OK. So 2D line on the boot.
VAR: And stop. Check complete, check complete. That’s fine, perfect.
Assistant Referee 1: Playing.
Referee: Cheers mate.
VAR: Thank you mate.
Referee: Well done boys, good process.
Replay Operator: Wait, wait, wait. The on-field decision was offside. Are you happy with this?
Assistant VAR: Offside, goal, yeah.
Assistant VAR: That’s wrong, Daz.
More to follow…
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