Liverpool have increased pressure on the referees’ body, Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL), to be fully transparent over their monumental failure at Tottenham on Saturday by making a formal request for audio of the decision to disallow Luis Díaz’s goal to be released.
PGMOL and its chief refereeing officer, Howard Webb, are under intense scrutiny following the shambles at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when the VAR, Darren England, and assistant VAR, Dan Cook, failed to overturn an incorrect on-pitch decision to disallow Díaz’s goal for offside. Both officials were quickly stood down from duties on Sunday and Monday having wrongly believed the goal had been awarded by the referee, Simon Hooper, when confirming their check was complete.
Liverpool criticised PGMOL’s assessment that “significant human error” was to blame in a strongly-worded statement on Sunday that also called for a wide-ranging, fully transparent review into the entire process. The club have concerns over England and Cook being allowed, by Webb, to travel back from officiating in the United Arab Emirates the day before what proved to be their first defeat of the season.
The club have backed up those calls by making a formal request to PGMOL to give them the audio from the VAR room at Stockley Park in order to understand the breakdown in communications that produced arguably VAR’s biggest blunder to date. Webb contacted Anfield officials in the wake of the controversy on Saturday, although PGMOL have yet to respond to the points raised in Liverpool’s statement or to their request to hear the audio.
Liverpool have also lodged an appeal with the Football Association over the red card Curtis Jones received during the 2-1 defeat. The midfielder was dismissed for a 26th-minute foul on Yves Bissouma that initially prompted a yellow card from Hooper. The card was upgraded to red for serious foul play after the referee was sent to the pitchside monitor by England. Jones’s foot rolled off the top of the ball before catching Bissouma, although the first image that greeted Hooper on the monitor was of Jones’ boot on the Spurs’ midfielder’s shin.
Liverpool do not believe Jones used excessive force and hope to overturn the 22-year-old’s three-match ban. The club will be fined £25,000 for collecting seven yellow cards, including two for Diogo Jota, at Spurs. The fine is automatically issued when a team receives six yellow cards or more in a game.
Spurs, meanwhile, have condemned the racist abuse directed at Destiny Udogie on social media following the game. The defender was targeted having been involved in the two bookings that saw Jota sent off on Saturday, prompting his club to issue a statement that read: “We are disgusted at the racist messages directed towards Destiny Udogie on social media following Saturday’s game against Liverpool. We will work with the Premier League and, where possible, take action against any individual we are able to identify. We stand with you, Destiny.”
Liverpool and Kick It Out have also condemned the abuse of Udogie.