The saga has rumbled on for several days after a Luis Diaz goal to open the scoring at Tottenham on Saturday evening was disallowed for offside.
Replays showed Cristian Romero had played the Colombian winger on however, and VAR officials Darren England and Dan Cook sent a “check complete” message to on-field referee Simon Hooper having wrongly assumed the goal had been given. Both officials have been taken off the upcoming weekend’s fixture list after an official apology from referees body PGMOL.
Liverpool had threatened to “escalate” the issue and, on Tuesday, the audio footage of the incident was released to show the officials realising their mistake moments too late, with it decided that they could not go back and award the goal after the game had restarted.
“The audio didn’t change it at all, because I was not really interested in why things happened,” Klopp told reporters in response.
“I saw the outcome, the goal, and it didn’t count so I wasn’t waiting for the audio and hoping I found out [why it wasn’t given].
“It’s really important that as big as football is, that we deal with it in a proper way. All of the people involved, the referee, linemsen, VAR... they didn’t do it on purpose. We should not forget that. It was a mistake, an obvious mistake.
“There should have been solutions for it. Not as manager of Liverpool but more as a football person I think the only outcome should be a replay.
“It probably won’t happen, the argument is that it would open the gate for everyone to ask for it.
“I think this is unprecedented. I’ve spent 50 years in football and I’m used to wrong decisions, but something like that as far as I can remember has never happened. That’s why I think a replay is right.
“If it happens again, I think a replay is the right thing to do or the referee [should have] the opportunity to bring both coaches together and say, ‘Sorry, we made a mistake but we can resolve it’. And score the goal.
“In this specific game, we conceded two minutes after. All things depend on each other, it would have been different. So that’s one thing from my view on it.
“I’m not angry with any one of [the officials] at all. You should not go for them, they made a mistake and felt horrible that night I’m 100 per cent sure. That’s enough for me, nobody needs further punishment. We should discuss it on a completely normal basis without emotions.”
🚨 OFFICIAL: PGMOL have released VAR audio from Spurs v Liverpool 🔊 pic.twitter.com/zNLDyHkBbe
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) October 3, 2023
Although PGMOL have recently decided to officially acknowledge errors in their officiating, a Premier League game has never been replayed due to a refereeing error.
Klopp confirmed that the club continue to go through the “information” available to them before launching a possible formal request to replay the game. He also criticised VAR’s official wording of “clear and obvious”.
The Reds boss also explained why the decisions to send Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota off added to his dismay in the late defeat at Tottenham.
“What made this day really difficult was for us all the other decisions,” he continued. “In this game there was another situation when Curtis Jones got a red card.
“The referee got called to the screen and saw for the first three seconds a frozen image. I’d give a red for that, and for the slow motion. But in real time it’s not a red card. And then you appeal it and they say it’s not a clear and obvious mistake. I think it is.
“Diogo Jota also got two yellow cards for not touching a player once, that’s also unprecedented. But that’s fine. I saw a wonderful team fighting against all the odds in an incredible and fair way. We didn’t get the points but the rest we can use.”
Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold also faced the media on Wednesday and affirmed that players’ trust in VAR remains the same despite the incident.
“I think decisions are decisions,” he said. “Sometimes they go for you, sometimtes they go against you.
“What happaned for us as players was very disappointing and frustrating, but there’s nothing we can do as players now.
“Weve got to move forward but VAR’s the system thats in place, we can’t control it as players. We have to hope they get the decision right, at times they don't, at times they do. We’ve got to hope they get it right as much as possible.”