Clattenburg offers theory for Liverpool’s VAR error and why Webb will be ‘furious’there

The fallout continues after the VAR controversy in Liverpool’s defeat to Tottenham, with former referee Mark Clattenburg highlighting the error.

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has spoken out about the controversial decision which saw Liverpool’s goal unfairly disallowed during their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

Clattenburg believes the root cause of the error was a breakdown in communication.
The incident occurred when Luis Díaz’s goal was disallowed for offside, despite replays showing he was actually offside.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) later admitted that the goal should have stood.

It was revealed (per Dale Johnson of ESPN) that VAR mistakenly believed a goal had been awarded on the pitch, leading to the disallowed goal.

Clattenburg believes there was a fundamental breakdown in communication between officials.

The former referee wrote for the Daily Mail: “PGMOL brought in Phil Bentham last year to improve communication between referees due to his background in rugby league.

As a former TMO, his every word has been broadcast live and Howard Webb is committed to ensuring his Premier League managers make their messages clear and concise.

“But on Saturday there was a total breakdown of basic communications at Tottenham.

Assistant Adrian Holmes should have shouted “offside, offside” after raising his flag against Luis Díaz. Referee Simon Hooper should have told the players that too.

All of this should have been picked up by their headphones and heard by VAR Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook at Stockley Park.

“They should have had no illusions about Diaz being offside. But for some reason England and Cook felt the on-field decision was a positive one.

“When England told Hooper ‘complete control’, he mistakenly did not confirm that Diaz’s goal was good, but that it should have been disallowed. England should have extended its decision.

Instead of ‘check completed’ it should have said: ‘I have checked for an offside check. It’s onside, so I award the goal. Check completed.”

«So we wouldn’t have these controversies. Webb will of course be furious, as will Select Group One manager Jon Moss.

“The PGMOL has spent a lot of money improving the application of VAR but we still see bad decisions like this.

This is a tough lesson for England and Cook and they will not make this mistake again.”

Adding to the breakdown in communication, it was revealed that England and Cook had officiated in the UAE just 48 hours before the match.

Clattenburg talks about his own experiences refereeing a Europa League match in Russia and then returning to referee a Premier League match.

He highlights how strenuous long international trips can be for civil servants. He suggests that the PGMOL consider the impact of these trips on the performance of referees.

“There has been speculation that England and Cook’s trip to the UAE on Thursday may have had an impact on their performance and I can tell you that these long trips abroad are taking a toll,” he said. continued Clattenburg.

“I remember a Europa League match in Krasnodar, Russia, on a Thursday. At the weekend I came back to referee a Premier League match and when the time came I couldn’t remember what had happened in the last 90 minutes because I was very tired.

“I know other officers who felt the same way. The PGMOL must take this into account when approving these trips.

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This article was created using AI tools and is based on an article first written by Connor O’Neill for the Liverpool ECHO.

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