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Officials stood down after offside error in Liverpool’s defeat to Tottenham

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Oct 2023

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The match officials at the heart of the “significant human error” which saw Liverpool wrongly denied a goal in Saturday’s defeat to Tottenham have been stood down from duty for the rest of the weekend.

Darren England was due to be fourth official at Sunday’s Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Brentford, while Dan Cook was to be assistant referee for Monday’s west London derby between Fulham and Chelsea.

But the Professional Game Match Officials Limited announced on Sunday morning that England, who was VAR for Saturday’s game at Tottenham, has been replaced by Craig Pawson, while Eddie Smart will step in for Cook, who was the assistant VAR to England.

“Darren England, VAR on the Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool fixture, and Dan Cook, AVAR on the same game, have been replaced for the Nottingham Forest v Brentford and Fulham v Chelsea matches today and tomorrow night respectively,” a PGMOL statement said.

“Craig Pawson will now assume England’s duties as fourth official at the City Ground while Eddie Smart will take over from Cook as assistant referee at Craven Cottage.”

On Saturday, PGMOL admitted the pair had failed to act after Luis Diaz’s 34th-minute strike was incorrectly ruled out for offside. Still images of the incident showed Cristian Romero play Diaz onside.

The disallowed goal came with the match still at 0-0 but after Curtis Jones had been controversially sent off following England’s intervention.

Son Heung-min put Spurs in front moments after Diaz’s goal was disallowed, and although Cody Gakpo levelled, Tottenham went on to win 2-1 thanks to a stoppage-time own goal from Joel Matip, with Liverpool finishing with nine men after Diogo Jota also saw red.

In a statement on Saturday, PGMOL said: “PGMOL acknowledge a significant human error occurred during the first half of Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool.

“The goal by Luis Diaz was disallowed for offside by the on-field team of match officials.

“This was a clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention, however, the VAR failed to intervene.

“PGMOL will conduct a full review into the circumstances which led to the error.”

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