VAR audio of Liverpool offside error to be released to public

The PGMOL have released the audio of the controversial Luis Diaz offside decision to Liverpool as part of a review, before it is eventually made public.

It follows an official request from the Anfield club, although the referees’ body were always insistent it was just a case of “when” rather than “if” the audio was released. Liverpool have now received the audio and will begin to review the incident for themselves.

The controversy has caused a credibility crisis for referees and the Premier League, which led to significant internal debate over whether the audio should have been made public in the immediate aftermath of Liverpool’s defeat to Tottenham.

It was ultimately decided in consultation with the Premier League that the audio should go through a full review first, and that the club and competition should all have a chance to assess before it goes to the public.

The audio was set to be covered as part of Howard Webb’s new Match Officials Mic’d Up monthly programme, which airs unheard audio from decisions between on-field officials and VAR team.

The next Mic’d Up episode is scheduled for Monday next week, but the PGMOL are considering whether to release it before then, once the review of Saturday is complete.

Meanwhile, referees Darren England and Dan Cook, the VAR officials who made the error, have been stood down from duty for a second round of Premier League fixtures.

VAR lead England and VAR assistant Cook failed to overturn Luis Diaz’s wrongly disallowed goal in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat, after not realising that on-field referee Simon Hooper and his assistant officials had initially ruled the goal out for offside.

England and Cook were subsequently replaced from Sunday’s match between Nottingham Forest and Brentford and the game between Chelsea and Fulham on Monday night, and neither official was issued a Premier League fixture ahead of this weekend.

Referee Hooper will be the lead VAR for Everton’s match against Bournemouth this Saturday, after he served as the fourth official for Chelsea’s victory over Fulham in Monday’s west London derby.

The referees’ body PGMOL admitted after Liverpool’s controversial defeat at Spurs that a “significant human error” had been made and referees’ chief Webb spoke to Liverpool after the match and offered an apology.

It later emerged that England and Cook had taken charge of a match in the United Arab Emirates in midweek and had only made the six-hour return flight back to London the day before Liverpool’s match at Tottenham.