England’s referees’ governing body admitted that “standards were below expectations”. Audio of VAR discussion being released As a result, Luis Diaz’s goal for Liverpool was wrongly disallowed for offside.
The audio was released in full on the Premier League website, along with a full account of what went wrong and a lengthy statement from Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) after a thorough review was completed.
– Transcript: Read the full exchange between the ref and the VAR
– Stream on ESPN+: La Liga, Bundesliga, more (US)
Diaz thought he had put Liverpool ahead in the 34th minute of Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, only to be flagged for offside.
VAR Darren England wrongly deemed the on-field decision a “goal”. When he quickly identified that Diaz was onside, he told the referee “check complete” — which mistakenly told the field team that the offside flag was correct.
PGMOL and the Football Association also said they would review allowing referees to take charge of games in foreign leagues in midweek, while England were part of a team of officials taking charge of a game in the United Arab Emirates just 28 hours before the game. at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
A statement issued by the referees said: “PGMOL can confirm that we have carried out a review into the circumstances which led to Luis Diaz’s goal being wrongly disallowed for offside in the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC.
“We recognized that the standards were below expectations and admitted the error to Liverpool immediately after the conclusion of the fixture.
“A detailed report, including audio between the on-field officials and the VAR team, as well as key learnings and immediate actions, has been submitted to the Premier League, who have shared it with Liverpool FC and subsequently all other Premier League clubs.
“A review of on-field and VAR decision-making processes and the application of decision-making principles identified the following key lessons to reduce the risk of future errors:
– Video match guidance officials have always emphasized the need for skill, but never at the expense of accuracy. This principle will be clearly repeated.
– A new VAR communication protocol will be developed to increase the transparency of communication between the referee and the VAR team regarding on-field decisions.
– As an additional step in the process, the VAR will confirm the results of the VAR check process with the AVAR before confirming the final decision of the on-field officials.
“PGMOL is committed to enhancing VAR performance through a new training program that begins this season and focuses on processes and best practices for all VARs, AVARs and replay operators in their specific roles. While we have many FIFA-accredited VARs, the task is currently to build a dedicated pool of VAR experts.
“The VAR and AVAR in question have been removed from their remaining fixtures in Round 7 of the Premier League and have not been included in the appointment for this weekend’s Match Round 8.
“PGMOL and the FA have agreed to review policy to allow match officials to officiate matches outside of FIFA or UEFA appointments.”
PGMOL provided a full explanation of what happened:
“Said immediately after the full-time whistle on Saturday evening, we acknowledged in a statement that a significant human error occurred during the aforementioned match, which we acknowledge should have resulted in a goal being awarded through VAR intervention.
“As in all goal situations, the VAR team checked every aspect of the goal. After the on-field officials disallowed the goal for offside, the checking phase and process began and was properly managed by VAR. The kick-point selection was correct and one at the foot of the second-most defender. The use of single 2D lines was also correctly positioned.
“The image produced shows that Luis Diaz was clearly onside, without the need for second line insertion. Due to the loss of concentration and focus at that moment, VAR lost sight of the decision on the field and he incorrectly communicated “check complete”, thus inadvertently confirming the decision on the field. He Did this without any dialogue with AVAR [Assistant VAR].
“The match was then immediately restarted. A few seconds later, the replay operator and then the AVAR asked about the check-complete result with the VAR and asked him to review the image that had been produced, pointing out that the original decision on the field was offside, But at no time during the match was the field team informed about the matter.
“The VAR team then considered whether play could be stopped at that point, but VAR and AVAR concluded that VAR protocol within the Laws of the Game would not allow this to happen and they decided that interference was not possible. Play resumed. .
“Below is the audio between the on-field team of match officials and the VAR team.
“PGMOL has conducted a review of the circumstances that led to this erroneous result and further learnings will be applied to reduce the risk of errors occurring in the future.”