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Jürgen Klopp calls for Tottenham and Liverpool match to be replayed, though admits it ‘probably will not happen’

<i>Marc Atkins/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images</i><br/>The giant screen shows a goal from Luis Diaz of Liverpool being checked for offside by VAR during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC on September 30
Marc Atkins/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
The giant screen shows a goal from Luis Diaz of Liverpool being checked for offside by VAR during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC on September 30

By Ben Church, CNN

(CNN) — Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has called for his side’s recent match against Tottenham to be replayed after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) made an error which led to a goal being disallowed.

With Liverpool reduced to 10 men and the score at 0-0 in the first half of Saturday’s English Premier League fixture, Liverpool forward Luis Díaz thought he had given his team an unlikely lead in the 34th minute.

The goal, though, was quickly ruled out for offside, even though television replays showed the Colombian was clearly onside.

Now evident from the audio released by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) on Tuesday, Darren England, the VAR for the match, had a lapse in concentration and failed to overrule the on-field decision.

Liverpool went on to lose the game 2-1 after defender Joel Matip’s clumsy clearance led to an own goal with seconds to play.

Amid outcry on social media and despite refereeing mistakes being part and parcel of professional soccer, Klopp has called for the entire match to be replayed, but admitted such an outcome would be unlikely.

“It’s really important that as big as football is and important as football is we deal with it in a proper way,” he told reporters Wednesday.

“All the people involved, the on-field referee, linesman, fourth official and especially in this case VAR, didn’t do that on purpose. We should not forget that.

“It was an obvious mistake and I think there would have been solutions for it afterwards.

“Some people probably don’t want me to say, but not as the manager of Liverpool so much, more as a football person, I think the only outcome should be a replay. That’s how it is. It probably will not happen.”

Klopp added: “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 […] that a replay would be the right thing.”

What went wrong?

After the game, PGMOL said it acknowledged that a “significant human error” had occurred but many, including Liverpool, demanded more transparency.

The now released audio shows that the usual VAR process was followed, with lines being drawn on the screen to determine whether the goal was offside.

However, a ‘check complete’ was confirmed as England wrongly thought referee Simon Hooper had already given the goal. A VAR intervention would have led to the goal being awarded.

By the time England was made aware of his mistake, the game had already resumed.

According to the rules, the referee can only ‘review’ an incident once play has been restarted in the case of “mistaken identity or for a potential sending-off offence relating to violent conduct, spitting, biting or extremely offensive, insulting and/or abusive action(s).”

Asked on Wednesday whether the club would officially request a replay, Klopp said: “At this stage we are still going through the information we have.”

There is no precedent in English soccer to suggest a replay would even be possible, though in 1999 then Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger offered to replay an FA Cup game against Sheffield United following the London club’s 2-1 win.

During the FA Cup match, United had put the ball in touch to allow one of its players treatment for an injury, but Arsenal’s Nwankwo Kanu took advantage of the resulting throw-in, passing to Marc Overmars who scored the winner.

Subsequently Wenger offered to replay the game, which Arsenal won by the same score.

Stephen Taylor Heath, co-head of sports law at JMW Solicitors, told CNN Sport on Tuesday that the outcome for Liverpool would likely be a moral victory rather than a legal one.

“Lawyers like to deal in elements of certainty,” he said, explaining that it would be difficult to prove that the outcome of the match would have been different had the goal been allowed.

Despite PGMOL owning up to the mistake, many Liverpool fans are still angry about the decision, pouring fuel on the already controversial topic of VAR – which has already caused multiple debates this season.

Liverpool’s defeat meant it slipped to fourth in the table, while Tottenham jumped to second behind Manchester City.

Amid the media frenzy and furore on social media, Klopp asked that people protect and respect the officials who made the innocent mistake on Saturday.

“I’m not angry with anybody, not at all. We should not go for them. It’s now allowed to go for them,” Klopp added.

“They made a mistake and they felt horrible that night, I’m 100% sure. That’s enough for me, nobody needs further punishment. We should discuss it on a normal basis without emotions.”

Liverpool’s next fixture is against Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League on Thursday, before it plays Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Full VAR audio transcript of offside incident in Spurs vs. Liverpool match

Editor’s note – Oli refers to Oli Kohout, the VAR Hub Operations executive

VAR: Possible offside, Diaz.
Assistant referee 2: Give it.
Assistant referee 1: Coming back for the offside, mate.
VAR: Just checking the offside. Delay, delay. Give the kick point, let’s go. Kick point please?
Referee: Yeah, no worries mate.
Replay operator: So, here we are. Just get a tight angle.
VAR: Yeah, give me 2D line ready after this one for frame two after that.
Replay operator: So frame two there?
VAR: That’s fine. Perfect, yeah. 2D line on the left boot.
Replay operator: Let me just switch angles.
VAR: Romero, I think it is?
Replay operator: I think it might be this angle better? Happy with this angle?
VAR: Yep.
Replay operator: 2D line on the boot?
VAR: 2D line on the boot.
Replay operator: Yeah, OK. So 2D line on the boot.
VAR: And stop. Check complete, check complete. That’s fine, perfect.
Assistant referee 1: Playing.
Referee: Cheers mate.
VAR: Thank you mate.
Referee: Well done boys, good process.
Replay operator: Wait, wait, wait, wait. The on-field decision was offside. Are you happy with this?
Assistant VAR: Yeah.
Replay operator: Are you happy with this?
Assistant VAR: Offside, goal, yeah. That’s wrong that, Daz.
VAR: What?
Replay operator: On-field decision was offside. Are you happy with this image? Yeah, it’s onside. The image that we gave them is onside.
Assistant VAR: He’s played him, he’s gone offside.
VAR: Oh *expletive*
Replay operator: Delay, delay. Oli’s saying to delay, Oli’s saying to delay.
VAR: Pardon?
Replay operator: Oli’s calling in to say delay the game. The decision is onside.
VAR: Can’t do anything.
Replay operator: Oli’s saying to delay, Oli’s saying to delay.
VAR: Oli?
Fourth official: Yeah?
Replay operator: Delay the game, to delay the game? Stop the game.
VAR: They’ve restarted the game. Can’t do anything, can’t do anything.
Assistant VAR: Yeah, they’ve restarted. Yeah.
VAR: I can’t do anything. I can’t do anything. *expletive*

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