HomeFeatured ArticlesFrom Anfield to Stockley Park: Dissecting a VAR Blunder

From Anfield to Stockley Park: Dissecting a VAR Blunder

A Tempest at Anfield: PGMOL Addresses Liverpool’s Controversy

The beautiful game is a spectacle not just because of the players’ deft touches, stunning strikes, or agile keepers, but also due to the drama that unfolds off the pitch. Last Saturday, Liverpool’s clash with Spurs became one such affair that left a mark not for footballing brilliance, but for a refereeing mishap.

Turmoil Over A Disallowed Goal

It was a match that promised much, but delivered controversy. As Anfield held its collective breath, Liverpool’s Luis Diaz found the net, only for his moment of magic to be cruelly snatched away. The on-field referee, Simon Hooper, in consultation with Darren England, his video-assisted counterpart at Stockley Park, decided the goal was offside. But was it?

The Demands and the Dialogue

Jurgen Klopp’s men were left to fight with nine on the field, their sense of injustice amplified. Liverpool’s anger was palpable. With a fierce response, they threatened to “explore the range of options available”, pushing PGMOL into a corner. The Merseyside outfit wanted answers. They wanted the world to hear the dialogue between officials during that fateful decision-making process. And now, it’s out.

While the broadcasting of such audio live is forbidden under FIFA laws, PGMOL, in an effort to clarify rather than to appease, has sometimes released portions of these conversations. This time, the audio wasn’t the only thing they revealed.

PGMOL’s Response: A Tale of Human Error

Published on the official Premier League website was not just the audio, but also a candid account from PGMOL about how events unfurled. They began with a frank admission. They had erred, a “significant human error” that should have seen Diaz’s goal stand.

The narrative continued, painting a detailed picture of the moments that led to the blunder. From the accurate kick-point selection to the correct placement of the 2D line, every box was ticked. But then, a lapse: the VAR lost focus and the crucial image that confirmed Diaz’s onside position was overlooked. The on-field decision of offside was “inadvertently confirmed”, without consulting the Assistant VAR.

The drama intensified when moments later, both the Replay Operator and the AVAR flagged this oversight. But by then, the game was back in play. A discussion ensued about stopping the game but alas, the VAR protocol within the Laws of the Game bound their hands. An intervention was impossible.

Looking Forward: Lessons from Anfield

Acknowledging their mistake, PGMOL isn’t just stopping at apologies. They’ve taken a mirror to themselves, launching a review to identify the cracks that led to this debacle. Their promise? To learn, evolve, and minimise such errors in the future.

As the dust settles on this controversy, both Liverpool and Spurs will look ahead to their next challenges. But one thing’s for sure, the events of last Saturday will be discussed for many a season.

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  1. Let’s forget the var review itself, human error is their goto reasoning, what I find difficult is I was half watching and half listening to the game but I heard and saw sky sports actually say in real-time the flags gone up for offside with images, if var officials were watching real game time as it happens, forget about they misheard the referee checking for onside or offside, if they had been watching the game they would have known it was for an offside check, so my question is what were they watching/doing when this massive game was playing that they were in charge of overseeing? Sleeping from UAE visit 28hrs earlier, they clearly were not watching the game, if they had been watching they would have known what they were checking.


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