Fulham vs Liverpool will be officiated by Simon Hooper – four months after his ‘crazy’ error against the Reds. It hasn’t been received well.
The EFL have officially announced the referees for the Carabao Cup semi-final second legs. Liverpool will take on Fulham at Craven Cottage, of course, having won the first leg 2-1 at Anfield.
But it’s certainly a controversial choice of referee. Simon Hooper will take to the pitch for this one – four months after his historic blunder against the Reds.
That came as Liverpool played away at Tottenham Hotspur. They were down to 10 men at the time but managed to take the lead through Luis Diaz. Only, it was disallowed for offside, wrongly.
Diaz was onside but VAR inexplicably failed to override the decision despite seeing that for a fact. Much confusion followed and the VAR audio was released after calls to do so.
Hooper was the VAR for the game and audio showed him go through the motions, declaring a ‘good process’ and that the onfield decision was a correct one. However, Hooper was under the impression that the onfield decision was ‘goal’. It’s unclear why he thought that.
The game was restarted with a free kick – prompting shock from Hooper as he realised his mistake. Liverpool went on to lose the game 1-0 in stoppage time (and down to nine men).
Jurgen Klopp said after the game that he’d witnessed “the most unfair circumstances and crazy decisions”, referring to the ‘offside’ and both red cards for Liverpool. He’d later call for the game to be replayed once the VAR audio was out.
Hooper was not officiated a Liverpool game since but will lead proceedings next Wednesday for a huge game. To say he’ll be under the microscope is an enormous understatement – fans haven’t exactly taken the news well that he’ll be in charge.