Liverpool say VAR error at Spurs undermined ‘sporting integrity’

Liverpool have said the VAR error at Spurs undermined ‘sporting integrity’. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Liverpool have said the VAR error at Spurs undermined ‘sporting integrity’. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Published Oct 2, 2023


Liverpool have said the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) error that resulted in a goal by Luis Diaz being disallowed in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur undermined sporting integrity.

Nine-man Liverpool lost after Joel Matip scored an own goal in stoppage time but they should have taken the lead in the first half through Diaz whose goal was ruled out for offside.

VAR failed to overturn the incorrect decision to disallow the goal leading the referees' body PGMOL to issue a statement blaming "significant human error" in the Premier League game.

"It is clear that the rules of the game were not applied correctly, which undermined sporting integrity," Liverpool said in a statement on Sunday.

"It is therefore unsatisfactory that sufficient time was not given to allow the correct decision to be made and that there was no subsequent intervention."

The PGMOL said disallowing the Diaz goal was a "clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention".

PGMOL added that it will conduct a full review into the circumstances which led to the error.

Liverpool's statement added: "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."

Liverpool said the club recognised the pressures referees are under but that the application of VAR technology "should have alleviated them, not exacerbated them", adding that they will explore the options available for resolution.

VAR official Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook were replaced for their next matches at Nottingham Forest-Brentford on Sunday and Monday's Fulham-Chelsea game respectively.