Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wants their match against Tottenham to be replayed after a significant VAR error ruled out Luis Diaz’s goal but accepts he is unlikely to get his wish.
With the score at 0-0, Diaz was flagged offside but replays showed he was actually onside although Darren England, the VAR, mistakenly believed the on-field decision had been to award the goal, leading him to tell referee Simon Hooper the check was complete.
Liverpool’s complaints promoted the publication of the audio between officials which revealed the first person to spot the mistake was the replay operator, who urged the team of officials to stop the game, but the VAR and assistant VAR repeatedly said they could not intervene because play had restarted.
Klopp felt such an unprecendented scenario required a similarly unprecedented solution.
“The audio didn’t change it at all because I was not really interested in why things happened because I knew,” he said.
“I saw the outcome, I saw goal we scored and it didn’t count so I wasn’t now waiting for the audio and sitting there hoping I’d find out how it could happen or whatever.
“Yes, it was an obvious mistake and I think there would have been solutions for it afterwards.
“If not, I can say immediately – and probably some people don’t want me to say it – not as the manager of Liverpool but, much more as a football person, I think the only outcome should be a replay. It probably will not happen.
“The argument against that will probably be if you open that gate then everybody will ask for it. I think the situation is that unprecedented – it didn’t happen before.
“I’m 56 years old and I’m absolutely used to wrong decisions, difficult decisions but something like that as far as I can remember has never happened. That’s why I think the replay would be the right thing.
“The next argument would be if it would happen again, I think a replay would be the right thing to do or the referee has the opportunity to bring both coaches together and say ‘sorry, we made a mistake, but we can sort it, that Liverpool score a goal and we start from there’.”
Asked whether the club had made – or would make – a formal request for the match to be replayed Klopp, after taking advice from his press officer, said: “We are still going through the information that we have.”
The PA news agency understands the Premier League’s stance remains the same as earlier in the week – that a replay would not be considered.
The manager stressed he did not want to single out the individuals involved for the errors made, but wanted to find a solution within the framework of the system which would prevent something similar recurring in futrure.
“What I want to say is it’s really important that as big as football is, and important as it is for us, that we really deal with it in a proper way,” he added.
“I mean that all the people involved – on-field ref, linesman, fourth official and especially now in this case VAR – they didn’t do that on purpose. We shouldn’t forget that.
“I’m not angry with any of them (the officials), not at all. It’s not only the respect, but the only thing for human beings in general is we should not go for them. It’s not allowed to go for them in any way.
“They made a mistake and they felt horrible that night, I’m 100 per cent sure. That’s enough for me. Nobody needs further punishment. We should discuss it on a completely normal basis without emotions.”
Klopp was still unhappy with some other decisions taken in the game, notably the upgrading of Curtis Jones’ yellow card to a red, and also the two yellow cards issued to Diogo Jota.
“The referee got called to the screen and saw for the first three seconds a frozen picture. I would have given immediately a red card for that picture. Then he sees the replay in slow motion and I’d have given a red card for the slow motion. But in reality it’s not a red card.
“The ref’s first decision is yellow. Then the clear and obvious mistake is showing a frozen picture and in slow motion.
“On top of that, Diogo Jota got two yellow cards for not touching a player once. That is unprecedented as well I would say.”
Jota will be available for Thursday’s Europa League visit of Belgian side Union Saint Gilloise but fellow forward Cody Gakpo, who was injured in the Spurs game, is out.