Gary Neville has condemned Liverpool’s decision to release a statement slamming the mistake attributed to VAR in Saturday’s defeat to Tottenham and believes the wording is ‘dangerous’.
The Merseysiders came down to 10 men in the first half of their visit to north London when Curtis Jones’ challenge was upgraded to a red card, though they thought they had taken the lead shortly afterwards despite their numerical disadvantage.
Luis Diaz raced clear and finished emphatically only for the linesman’s flag to be raised, though the Colombian was apparently onside, and after a brief VAR check the game restarted with a free-kick to Spurs.
But it later transpired that the VAR team thought the on-field decision had been a goal and when they said ‘check complete’ it was to confirm there was no offside, though the on-field team interpreted the message as Diaz being offside.
When play restarted it was no longer possible for VAR to intervene and Tottenham took the lead shortly afterwards through Son Heung-min.
Cody Gakpo netted an equaliser just before the break and his replacement, Diogo Jota, was later dismissed for two bookable offences before Joel Matip netted a last-minute own goal to seal a 2-1 victory for the home side.
Jurgen Klopp was diplomatic about the incident afterwards having been informed that a ‘significant human error’ had occurred, but Liverpool released a damning statement on Sunday evening in which they called for ‘escalation and resolution’ and said they would be ‘exploring a range of options’.
Former Manchester United defender Neville feels Liverpool’s statement has crossed a line with it’s ‘vague and aggressive’ contents and believes the apology issued by PGMOL shortly after full-time should be enough.
Writing on social media platform X, Neville said:
“Jurgen Klopp handled the situation well last night after the game. Most football fans will have had empathy with what happened and recognised it was wrong!
“However, Liverpool’s statement tonight is a mistake! Talk of exploring all options (what does that mean!!!) and sporting integrity are dangerous phrases along with being vague and aggressive.
“Sorry we f***ed up was enough!! I said this last night. Sorry should be respected and not undervalued.
“This is a snap reaction that can always be wrong but I feel strongly about it.’
Neville also retweeted several posts criticising both Liverpool’s statement as well as the very application of VAR since it was introduced, while he dismissed a suggestion from a Liverpool fan that there needed to be repercussions, saying: ‘What would that look like mate? It’s a f***up. We’ve all done it.’