REF Simon Hooper was told that Luis Diaz’ goal against Spurs should have been allowed.
But the information from blunder-VAR Darren England came TOO LATE for Hooper to reverse his decision and award the goal.
PGMOL chiefs have conceded that England errantly told Hooper “check complete” in the mistaken belief that Diaz had not been flagged offside.
Hooper then restarted play with a Tottenham free-kick.
It was only when the ball next went out of play, for a throw-in to Liverpool, that Hooper was informed of the cock-up that cost Jurgen Klopp’s side a legitimate goal.
However, that meant there was nothing Hooper could do under the International FA Board protocols on VAR use.
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The protocols state: “If play has stopped and been restarted, the referee may not undertake a ‘review’ except for a 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).”
That does not extend to going back to a flawed offside decision, as in this case.
And while a number of Liverpool fans in particular are complaining about Manchester United being awarded a match-winning penalty after the full-time whistle in their game at Brighton two seasons ago, the situation there was very different.
Referee Chris Kavanagh failed to spot Neal Maupay clearly handling off the line nand had signalled the end of the game.
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But the offence was seen by the VAR – ironically Hooper – and, as play had not restarted, Kavanagh rightly allowed added time for the penalty to be converted by Bruno Fernandes.
On Saturday, had Hooper “gone back” to the decision and awarded the goal, it would have been a fundamental breach of the protocols and the Laws of the Game.
It would have led to a Spurs protest and – as a blatant violation of the Laws – would have been likely to see the FA forced to agree with the Premier League that the match would be declared null and void and had to be replayed.
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