Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has demanded a replay of their Premier League match against Tottenham after a goal was wrongly disallowed.
Luiz Diaz’s goal on Saturday was ruled out for offside on the field, which was upheld after a review by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) – even though replays with lines drawn showed the Colombian forward was clearly onside.
Klopp said: “It’s really important that as big as football is and important as football is we deal with it in a proper way.
“All the people involved, the on-field referee, linesman, fourth official and especially in this case VAR, didn’t do that on purpose.
“It was an obvious mistake and I think there would have been solutions for it afterwards.
“Some people probably don’t want me to say, but not as the manager of Liverpool so much, more as a football person, the only outcome should be a replay.
“That’s how it is. It probably will not happen.”
After the decision, the VAR team acknowledged Diaz was onside in a mix-up that led to them believing the on-field call was to award a goal.
In the audio released of the VAR team’s response to the incident, it takes about 30 seconds for VAR Darren England and his assistant Daniel Cook to judge Diaz was onside.
Not realising the linesman had raised his flag for offside, the VAR said: “Check complete, check complete. That’s fine, perfect.”
Confusion then arose amongst the referee, the VAR, the VAR assistant and the replay operator.
When the replay operator pointed out the on-field decision was to rule the goal out for offside, it took a few seconds for the team to understand.
“Oli’s calling to delay the game,” the replay operator said, referring to Oli Kohout, VAR hub operations executive at the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) – the body responsible for refereeing.
Swearing ensued in the VAR audio, before saying they “can’t do anything” as they’ve “restarted the game”.
The Liverpool manager added: “The argument against [a replay] would be it opens the gates [to more replays after contentious decisions in future].
“It is unprecedented, it has not happened before.
“I’m used to wrong and difficult decisions, but something like this never happened and so that is why I think a replay is the right thing to do.”
Asked whether the club had asked – or would ask – the Premier League for a replay formally, Klopp added: “At this stage, we are still going through the information we have.”
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The PGMOL said in a statement “standards fell short of expectations” and it identified three key learnings “to mitigate against the risk of a future error”.
PGMOL will stress the importance of accuracy to its video match officials, while a “new VAR communication protocol will be developed to enhance the clarity of communication between the referee and the VAR team in relation to on-field decisions”.
The group added: “As an additional step to the process, the VAR will confirm the outcome of the VAR check process with the AVAR before confirming the final decision to the on-field officials.
“We recognise standards fell short of expectations and acknowledged the error to Liverpool immediately after the conclusion of the fixture.”
England and Cook have not been included among the officials for duty in the coming weekend’s Premier League fixtures.
Liverpool lost the game in the final minutes to an own goal from defender Joel Matip.
Fans of the Reds were left further aggrieved after two of their players were sent off, including a VAR decision rescinding Curtis Jones’ yellow card for a red.