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Five times VAR mistakes led to an apology by PGMOL

Liverpool's Luis Diaz reacts on the field

Liverpool's Luis Diaz was had a legitimate goal disallowed against Tottenham. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Published Oct 3, 2023


VAR once again came under the spotlight on the weekend when a legitimate goal by Liverpool’s Luis Diaz was chalked off as off-side during their Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur.

Refereeing body PGMOL issued an apology immediately after the game, saying the goal being disallowed was the result of “human error”.

According to explanation, VAR officials were under the impression that Luis’ goal was given, and the “check complete” came after they deemed the Colombian forward to be onside. The goal, however, had been disallowed already.

Naturally, this has led to many football fans losing faith in the system that was introduced to eliminate “human error” from refereeing. IOL Sport looks at the other times when VAR messed up, and PGMOL had to issue an apology.

Manchester United vs Wolves August 14, 2023

At the beginning of the season, PGMOL had to issue an apology after Woves were denied a stoppage-time penalty during their game against Manchester United at Old Trafford. New United goalkeeper Andre Onana clattered into Sasa Kalajdzic, and replays showed the Wolves man had been upended.

The penalty was not given, and United won the game 1-0.

Tottenham v Brighton April 8, 2023

Tottenham have a knack of benefitting off from dodgy VAR decisions. Last season, Howard Webb had to say sorry to Brighton after they were denied a legitimate penalty at Tottenham. That game was a particularly bad one for the Seagulls, who felt a few decisions should have gone their way. Spurs won the game 2-1.

Arsenal v Brentford February 11, 2023

Last season, Arsenal were denied crucial points in the title race when they dropped two points at home to Brentford. The VAR official did not use the right player when checking the decision after Brentford had scored. That soured the middle of the season for the Gunners, who were eventually overhauled in the title race by Manchester City.

Manchester United v Arsenal September 4, 2022

Earlier last season, the Gunners came unstuck at Old Trafford when Martin Odegaard thought he had put the Londoners in front, but only for the goal to be chalked off after it was deemed he had fouled Christian Eriksen. PGMOL later revealed he hadn’t fouled the Dane, and the goal should have counted.

Everton v Manchester City February 26, 2022

On their way to their famous treble, Manchester City received a helping hand from VAR during their game against a struggling Everton outfit at Goodison Park. The Toffees were looking good, and taking the game to the champions when a shocking VAR call saw them denied a legitimate penalty. Rodri handled the ball in the box, but the officials said there was nothing in it. City would narrowly win the tie 1-0.

IOL Sport