Liverpool threaten further ‘escalation’ over VAR controversy in defeat to Tottenham

Liverpool threaten further ‘escalation’ over VAR controversy in defeat to Tottenham

Liverpool have vowed to “escalate” their dissatisfcation with referees’ body PGMOL after a VAR error cost them dearly in Saturday’s defeat at Tottenham.

Officials apologised to the Reds for incorrectly green-lighting an offside decision to disallow Luis Diaz’s goal in north London, which was put down to a “lapse in concentration” from VAR officials Darren England and Dan Cook.

The referees have both been dropped from next weekend’s games after it emerged they had missed the linesman’s flag to disallow the goal, and thus thought it had already been given to Liverpool.

It has since been reported that both men were part of a refereeing team in the UAE only 48 hours before the game, raising questions about the culture of refereeing in the Premier League.

In a statement released on Sunday night, Liverpool outlined a plan to consider further action following the 2-1 defeat.

It 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.

“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.”

Liverpool, who also had Curtis Jones sent off via a hotly-debated VAR call, conceded to Heung-min Son shortly after Diaz’s disallowed goal but levelled through Cody Gakpo late in the first half.

Jones’ red card was followed by Diogo Jota being given his marching orders for two bookings, the first of which also angered the Reds, before Joel Matip scored an own goal in the 96th minute.

Manager Jurgen Klopp said: “I don’t think there is anything to say about the offside goal – I knew about it at half-time. In the first moment I thought it was clearly onside but you think they have a better view.

“I am pretty sure whoever made the decision didn’t do it on purpose. It didn’t take extremely long to come to the conclusion. That’s a bit strange but someone else has to explain.”