Premier League

VAR officials removed from duty after Liverpool goal error

Referee Simon Hooper watches a VAR during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on September 30, 2023. PHOTO/AFP

The match officials at fault for a botched VAR call that cost Liverpool a goal in their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham on Saturday have been removed from duty for the rest of the Premier League weekend.

Referees’ body the PGMOL admitted a “significant human error” had meant Luis Diaz’s strike, when the game was level at 0-0, was not awarded by a VAR review after being flagged offside.

VAR official Darren England was due to be the fourth official at Sunday’s Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Brentford and his assistant VAR Dan Cook was to be the assistant referee for Monday’s West London derby between Fulham and Chelsea.

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Spurs struck in the 96th minute through Joel Matip’s own goal to edge a highly controversial encounter.

Liverpool were reduced to nine men as Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota were sent off either side of half-time.

“I never saw a game like this with the most unfair circumstances, crazy decisions,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

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PGMOL chief Howard Webb apologised to the Reds after the match for the error that ruled out Diaz’s strike.

“This was a clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention, however, the VAR failed to intervene,” the PGMOL said in a statement.

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