Howard Webb to grant Liverpool audio request as PGMOL set for major VAR overhaul

Liverpool have lodged a request to the PGMOL to access the audio of the conversation between officials Simon Hooper and Darren England for Luis Diaz’s disallowed goal.

And Howard Webb is set to grant Liverpool their request and allow club executives to listen to the conversation which led to Luis Diaz’s goal incorrectly being ruled out.

Diaz thought that he’d given Liverpool a 1-0 lead away to Tottenham on Saturday, only for the offside flag to be raised, allowing Tottenham to recover and claim a dramatic 2-1 victory.

When a check commenced after Diaz fired past Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario, video assistant referee Darren England was under the impression that the goal had been awarded rather than disallowed.

England proceeded to tell referee Simon Hooper “check complete,” giving the on-field officials the impression that Diaz was indeed offside when images clearly showed he wasn’t.

Following a statement from Liverpool saying that they would “explore the range of options available, given the clear need for escalation and resolution,” the club then requested to have access to audio of the two officials’ conversation.

Now PGMOL chief Webb, who’s facing intensifying scrutiny in his new role heading up the Premier League’s referees and match officials, is expected to bow to pressure.

The Telegraph report that Webb is preparing to release the audio which will no-doubt prompt even more calls for conversations to be heard by fans on a weekly basis, while Liverpool are demanding a thorough review into the VAR process ahead of a potential overhaul.

The next episode of ‘Match Officials Mic’d Up’ is due to air to the public next Monday and the controversial offside incident could be featured.

Premier League chiefs took action by replacing England as the fourth official for Nottingham Forest’s draw with Brentford on Sunday. His assistant VAR for the Liverpool-Spurs clash, Dan Cook, was also replaced for Chelsea’s 2-0 victory at Fulham on Monday.

Amid the ongoing fallout, there was further controversy on Sunday when it emerged that both England and Cook had made a six-hour flight from the United Arab Emirates the day before the match at Tottenham. The pair taken charge of a match between Al Ain and Sharjah in the UAE Pro League on Thursday.

Liverpool’s pointed statement on the incident in North London read:

“We fully accept the pressures that match officials work under but these pressures are supposed to be alleviated, not exacerbated, by the existence and implementation of VAR.

“It is therefore unsatisfactory that sufficient time was not afforded to allow the correct decision to be made and that there was no subsequent intervention.

“That such failings have already been categorised as “significant human error” is also unacceptable. Any and all outcomes should be established only by the review and with full transparency.

“This is vital for the reliability of future decision-making as it applies to all clubs with learnings being used to make improvements to processes in order to ensure this kind of situation cannot occur again. In the meantime, we will explore the range of options available, given the clear need for escalation and resolution.”




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