Var operator who can be heard on PGMOL’s audio feed trying to stop the calamitous mistake that saw Luis Diaz’s goal disallowed on Saturday is a Dutch graduate who would ordinarily not even speak during conversations between on-field officials and those in the Var suite.
He is Mo Abby, 30, the advanced systems lead at Hawk-Eye Innovations, the technology partners of the referees’ organisation PGMOL, who can be heard asking the confused Var Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook whether they are “happy” with the outcome.
Ordinarily the replay operator, Abby’s role as it is described during matchday, would not speak in discussions between officials – however on this occasion he recognises the severity of the situation and says that it is the advice of “Oli” that the game is delayed. The “Oli” in question is Oli Kohout, Abby’s boss and the Var hub operations executive for PGMOL.
Unfortunately for England and Cook, they ignore the advice from Abby. They were likely to be surprised to hear him speaking on the live-feed although none of the Var officials seem able to react quickly enough.
Abby says on his LinkedIn page that he “majored” in computer system engineering, graduating from the University of Westminster in 2016. He has been at Hawk-Eye for five years.
PGMOL said in a statement: “PGMOL can confirm that 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.