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03rd Oct 2023

VAR audio from Luis Diaz offside goal released

Callum Boyle

VAR Luis Diaz

This will either answer a lot of questions or make more people angry

The audio between the VAR officials for Luis Diaz’s offside goal has been released for the first time.

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 but the conversation was shown for the first time on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football as Jamie Carragher and Frank Lampard reacted to one of the most controversial moments of the season.

In the footage, complete chaos can be heard in the VAR box with the men in the VAR box coming to the conclusion that the goal is onside before the referee misunderstands their decision and rules it offside.

As the goal is ruled offside and play continues, expletives are heard from the VAR room as they demand that the game is delayed only to be told: “We can’t do anything. Can’t do anything. We’ve restarted the game.”

PGMOL have also provided a statement reading: “As stated shortly after the full-time whistle on Saturday evening, we acknowledged in a statement that a significant human error had occurred during the aforementioned match, which we recognise should have resulted in a goal being awarded through VAR intervention.

“As with all goal situations, the VAR team checked every aspect of the goal. After the on-field officials had disallowed the goal for offside, the checking phase and process started and was carried out correctly by the VAR. The kick-point selection was accurate and the use of a single 2D line on the foot of the second rear-most defender was also correctly positioned.”

They continued: “The image created showed that Luis Diaz was clearly onside, without the need for the insertion of a second line. In a lapse of concentration and loss of focus in that moment, the VAR lost sight of the on-field decision and he incorrectly communicated “check complete”, therefore inadvertently confirming the on-field decision. He did this without any dialogue with the AVAR [Assistant VAR].

“The match then restarted immediately. After a few seconds, the Replay Operator and then the AVAR queried the check-complete outcome with the VAR and asked him to review the image that had been created, pointing out that the original on-field decision had been offside, but this was not communicated to the on-field team at any point during the match.

“The VAR team then gave consideration as to whether the game could be stopped at that point, however the VAR and AVAR concluded that the VAR protocol within the Laws of the Game would not permit that to happen, and they decided intervention was not possible as play had restarted.

“The audio between the on-field team of match officials and the VAR team is below.

“PGMOL has carried out a review into the circumstances which led to this incorrect outcome and the subsequent learnings will be implemented to mitigate the risk of errors occurring in the future.”

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