Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey has discussed VARs failures and Liverpool’s options after the controversy that resulted from Luis Diaz’s disallowed goal against Tottenham Hotspur.
Heskey says the Premier League is ‘no better off with VAR since its introduction’, though sees no outcome that benefits Liverpool as they seek answers from PGMOL.
Heskey, who made 223 appearances for the Reds over a four-year spell at the club, was watching on as his old club were deprived of a first-half goal due to a ‘significant human error’, as explained by PGMOL afterwards.
It was a major yes or no decision for VAR to make a mistake with in a match Liverpool went on to lose, and although a believer that the technology is not to blame, Heskey ultimately concedes there has been little progress since its introduction to English football in the 2017/18 campaign.
“The refereeing on Saturday was tough to take as a Liverpool fan. To see Luis Diaz score and the referee to disallow it, and then VAR not give it as a goal when it was a clear goal, it just shows that the VAR system is too up and down, it’s too inconsistent for the Premier League,” he told altindex.com.
“I know we talk about VAR, VAR, VAR, but it’s still human error. Yes VAR is bringing these sorts of things to our attention, but it’s still human beings making the mistakes.
“They owned up to their mistake and that’s fine – but we can’t keep having this. We can’t keep having these sorts of mistakes being made.
“That was the reason we brought VAR in, to get rid of these human-error mistakes, so something needs to change. We’re probably no better off with VAR since its introduction, we’re supposed to be better off with it, but we’re not!”
Liverpool responded to Saturday’s events with a statement of their own that slammed VAR’s failings, PGMOL’s reasoning and highlighted intent to ‘explore all options available’.
The club have since formally requested to receive the exact audio of the conversations that took place between the officials at the time of the disallowed goal.
“Unfortunately for Liverpool, I don’t think there can be a replay of the Spurs game, I don’t think that, or the re-awarding of the points, would be possible,” the England international added.
“It’s difficult because the game has finished now. Unless Liverpool request a replay to the Premier League or FA, I don’t think there’s anything they can do – but a replay isn’t the right way forward for me.
“I don’t think the officials could have asked for Spurs to let Liverpool score a goal either, you can’t do that during a game.”