Virgil van Dijk acknowledges that he is completely perplexed as to why his knock-back against Aston Villa, which ultimately resulted in a goal by Cody Gakpo, was disallowed for offside.
He has argued for a systematic change in the Premier League referees’ decision-making process.
The Liverpool defender admits to being totally baffled – like the rest of the world – over why his knock-back, which eventually led to a Cody Gakpo goal, was ruled out for offside at a crucial time against Aston Villa.
The decision, which came after a VAR review asked referee John Brooks to go to the monitor to overturn the goal he gave, was made because the visiting defender Ezri Konsa didn’t intentionally play the ball to Van Dijk, according to a later clarification from the Premier League.
However, the TV replays that VAR Nick Greenhalgh and the referee Brooks saw CLEARLY showed Konsa trying to play the ball, placing Van Dijk onside.
He later responded, “I have no idea – I have no idea at all, when asked why it was called offside.
“I asked Michael Oliver (the fourth official) on the side of the pitch, and apparently it was a question of whether the Villa player intentionally knocked it back or something, but I have no idea whether it was yes or no.”
And Van Dijk thinks better referee communication will help clear up any misunderstandings or suspicions surrounding some of the strange VAR decisions – there were three in this game alone that were all puzzling.
He thinks that officials should be held accountable after making decisions by explaining them to the media.
He wants the voice feeds of referees and VAR to be broadcast to explain their thinking.
The Dutch defender said, “I think it would be good if we could hear what they discuss, everyone around it, and be transparent.
“It happened in Holland, so why not over here in the Premier League? for them to explain with you guys (the media), coming here (in the interview area).”