‘Oh ****’ - VAR audio reveals moment Liverpool goal wrongly ruled out against Tottenham

‘Oh ****’ - VAR audio reveals moment Liverpool goal wrongly ruled out against Tottenham

The audio from the bungled VAR call which cost Liverpool the opening goal in Saturday's defeat by Tottenham has confirmed that video assistant referee Darren England was immediately told he had made a mistake but felt unable to correct it.

Luis Diaz's strike was incorrectly flagged offside but England failed to correct the error on reviewing the footage, because he mistakenly believed a goal had been awarded by the on-field officials.

Liverpool demanded the audio of the incident from the PGMOL, which was released by the Premier League on Tuesday night along with a statement from the referees' body acknowledging that "standards fell short of expectations" and revealing the findings of an internal review into the incident.

Within seconds of Spurs restarting the game with a free-kick, England is told by the VAR relay operator, who manages the technology: "The onfield decision was offside. Are you happy with this?"

England initially replies, "Yeah," before being told by assistant VAR, Dan Cook: "That's wrong that, Daz."

The laws of the game state that once play has restarted, the VAR is unable to recall play.

When repeatedly told by the replay operator that the on-field decision was offside and that Oli Kohout, the VAR hub operations executive in a separate room, was requesting for the game to be delayed, England replies: "They've restarted the game. Can't do anything. Can't do anything...I can't do anything. I can't do anything."

Cook adds: "Yeah, they've restarted. Yeah."

Referee Simon Hooper could not hear the audio from the VAR room, only comments directed at him, which included England saying, "Check complete, check complete, that's fine, perfect," after confirming that Diaz was onside.

In a statement, PGMOL said: "We have carried out a review into the circumstances which led to the Luis Diaz goal being incorrectly disallowed for offside in the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC.

"We recognise standards fell short of expectations and acknowledged the error to Liverpool immediately after the conclusion of the fixture.

"A detailed report, including the key learnings and immediate actions taken, alongside the audio between the on-field officials and VAR team has been submitted to the Premier League, who have shared it with Liverpool FC and subsequently all other Premier League clubs.

"The review of the on-field and VAR decision-making processes and application of the decision-making principles has identified the following key learnings to mitigate against the risk of a future error:

• Guidance to Video Match Officials has always emphasised the need for efficiency, but never at the expense of accuracy. This principle will be clearly reiterated

• A new VAR Communication Protocol will be developed to enhance the clarity of communication between the referee and the VAR team in relation to on-field decisions

• As an additional step to the process, the VAR will confirm the outcome of the VAR check process with the AVAR before confirming the final decision to the on-field officials

"PGMOL are committed to enhancing VAR performance through a new training programme which started this season and focuses on process and best practice for all VARs, AVARs and Replay Operators in their specific roles.

"While we have a number of FIFA-recognised VARs, work is ongoing to create a dedicated pool of VAR specialists."

England and Cook, who have been stood down from officiating on Premier League matches this weekend, made a six-hour flight from the United Arab Emirates the day before the game, after taking charge of a league match between Al Ain and Sharjah in the UAE Pro League on Thursday night.

PGMOL's statement added: "The VAR and AVAR in question were removed from their remaining fixtures in Match Round 7 in the Premier League and have not been included in the appointments for Match Round 8 this weekend.

"PGMOL and The FA have also agreed to review the policy to allow match officials to officiate matches outside of FIFA or UEFA appointments."