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PGMOL release VAR audio from controversial Tottenham v Liverpool contest

The Premier League have confirmed that PGMOL has released audio recordings of the conversation between the VAR and on-field referee during the controversial Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool contest.

Luis Diaz thought he had given Liverpool the lead in the 33rd minute after being put through on goal by Mohamed Salah but was ruled offside by the on-field assistant referee.

VAR review revealed that the decision was incorrect, but VAR officials Darren England and assistant Dan Cook failed to overturn the initial ruling, with Liverpool ultimately falling to a late defeat.

PGMOL acknowledged a ‘significant human error’ in their apology to Liverpool but that wasn’t enough to satisfy the Reds who demanded access to the audio recordings of the communication between the on-field referee and the VAR. 

The Reds have got their wish, and the footage shows that the VAR confirmed the goal should have been given. 

However, after completing their check, play had already resumed, and the VAR officials failed to call their decision to the attention of the on-field referee, Simon Hooper.

After releasing the audio recordings, PGMOL provided additional information into the incident that has been the major talking point from last weekend’s Premier League action.

PGMOL said: “As with all goal situations, the VAR team checked every aspect of the goal. The image created showed that Luis Diaz was clearly onside, without the need for the insertion of a second line. 

“In a lapse of concentration and loss of focus in that moment, the VAR lost sight of the on-field decision, and he incorrectly communicated ‘check complete’, therefore inadvertently confirming the on-field decision. He did this without any dialogue with the AVAR [Assistant VAR].

“The match then restarted immediately. The VAR team then gave consideration as to whether the game could be stopped at that point.

“However, the VAR and AVAR concluded that the VAR protocol within the Laws of the Game would not permit that to happen, and they decided intervention was not possible as play had restarted.”

The incident represents a major scandal for VAR, and the officials from the contest have subsequently been benched for this weekend’s Premier League schedule.

It remains to be seen what action Liverpool will take after carefully reviewing the footage from a match that cost them their unbeaten start to the 2023/24 campaign.

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