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02nd Oct 2023

Jamie Carragher says the feeling about VAR has ‘never been lower’

Callum Boyle

Jamie Carragher

‘We’re at a crisis point with VAR’

Jamie Carragher has hit out at VAR amid the ongoing controversy that has surrounded Luis Diaz’s disallowed goal in Liverpool’s defeat against Tottenham on Saturday.

Diaz’s first half goal was flagged off-side by the linesman but, as the subsequent VAR lines showed, the linesman was in the wrong and the goal should have stood.

Christian Romero, it soon emerged, had played Diaz onside but seconds after the offside was given, officials were conscious of the error made but opted not to follow VAR protocols and continue with the game, as per ESPN.

However, in line with the rules of the game, play should’ve been paused and the decision reversed to “achieve the fairest outcome for the game”. The report also adds that the VAR team and management team failed to react, despite having the chance to correct the mistake.

A statement from the PGMOL apologised to Liverpool for the “human error” and removed officials Darren England and Dan Cook from any upcoming fixtures however the Merseyside club said that it was an “unacceptable” excuse for what happened at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Liverpool themselves have made an official request to hear the audio and on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Carragher and Frank Lampard reacted to one of the most controversial moments of the season.

Carragher said: “I don’t think the feeling about VAR has been lower, it’s at crisis point. It’s not just this decision it’s on the back of other incidents this season, like the Wolves one with Manchester United on Monday Night Football.

“I don’t want to pile into the officials or Howard Webb, they must feel awful. I’m not into the conspiracy theories – no-one gains anything from this.

“We’ve all made mistakes. But this is a horrendous mistake, unprecedented, you can’t quite believe the explanation that has been given.”

Despite requesting for the audio, the PGMOL are yet to release it, much to Carragher’s surprise.

He added: |They were saying they were staying with protocol about not allowing to stop the game. I don’t believe that. They panicked. They froze. I know that’s the rule but that’s a red tap rule. If they had reversed it, we’d have been praising their leadership.

“There’s talk that the officials didn’t know until half time that a mistake had been made, when that ball goes out of play [after the incident] the look on that referees face it’s a look of something has gone wrong. I think it’s unbelievable that all the parties involved haven’t released the audio. I find it unfathomable. 

“The only way Howard Webb and PGMOL will gain any sort of credibility back was to get it out there. The problem they have now is the explanation is so random and bizarre, the longer this goes on, the more people will think they’re trying to put a story together.”

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