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VAR Officials Dropped For This Weekend


The video assistant refereeing team that was involved in the controversial match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in the Premier League at the weekend have not been selected for any of this weekend’s Premier League matches.

The VAR, Darren England, and his assistant VAR, Dan Cook, were at the centre of a few controversial decisions in the game which eventually saw Tottenham win against nine-man Liverpool with a 96th minute own goal scored by Cameroonian defender Joel Matip.

The biggest and most important decision has already been confirmed as a mistake and a ‘significant human error’ which was to fail to overturn an offside decision given against Liverpool winger Luis Diaz in the first-half.

The 26-year-old Colombian international was sent through by Mohamed Salah and finished excellently across goal and into the far corner past Guglielmo Vicario. The on-field assistant raised his flag but replays appeared to show that Diaz was onside.

Play resumed quickly but the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), who are responsible for refereeing in England, said that the VAR had believed the goal was awarded on field so completed his check not believing he had to overturn a decision.

The on-field referee, Simon Hooper, who had a yellow card decision overturned to a red card for Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones, has been appointed as the VAR official for Everton’s game against AFC Bournemouth at Goodison Park, whilst fourth official Michael Oliver will be the VAR for Tottenham Hotspur’s trip to Kenilworth Road face Luton Town as well as the on-field referee for Sunday afternoon’s big showdown between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.

Liverpool have since released a club statement describing PGMOL’s explanation as ‘unacceptable’ and have suggested that ‘will explore the range of options available, given the clear need for escalation and resolution.’

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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