Jurgen Klopp wants VAR error from Tottenham vs. Liverpool fixed: 'The only outcome should be a replay'

Jurgen Klopp has called for Liverpool’s Premier League defeat to Tottenham on Saturday to be replayed following a VAR blunder that robbed Luis Diaz of what should have been the game’s opening goal. While the Reds head coach has acknowledged that a repeat game is highly unlikely he said it would be “the right thing to do”, aiding fuel to the fire that has burned over the past four days.

“It’s really important that as big as football is and important as football is we deal with it in a proper way. All the people involved, the on-field referee, linesman, fourth official and especially in this case VAR, didn’t do that on purpose. It was an obvious mistake and I think there would have been solutions for it afterwards.”

“Some people probably don’t want me to say, but not as the manager of Liverpool so much, more as a football person, the only outcome should be a replay. That’s how it is.” 

VAR Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook did not overrule the on pitch decision when Diaz was flagged offside in the 31st minute of Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat on Saturday. Audio and video released by officiating body PGMOL on Tuesday night revealed that the pair had incorrectly assumed that the goal had been awarded and told referee Simon Hooper “check complete, check complete. That’s fine, perfect”. Liverpool would ultimately lose the game following Joel Matip’s own goal in the 96th minute.

“Something like this never happened, so that is why I think a replay is the right thing to do,” said Klopp. In the aftermath of the incident Liverpool released a stunning statement in which they said they would “explore the range of options available”, a comment that some believed to be a suggestion they may push for the game to be played again. Klopp did not indicate whether a formal request had been submitted to the Premier League for a replay.

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On PGMOL’s release, the Liverpool manager added: “The audio didn’t change it at all. It is an obvious mistake. There should be solutions for that. The outcome should be a replay. But it probably won’t happen.

“The argument against that would be it opens the gates. It is unprecedented. I’m used to wrong and difficult decisions, but something like this never happened.”

Klopp is right to note that such a decision would open the floodgates. The specific incident that robbed Liverpool of a goal may appear to be unprecedented, since the Premier League introduced VAR in 2019 — though beforehand there were almost countless cases of goals being wrongly ruled out for offside — but they are not the first club to feel aggrieved over wrongful application of technology. Last season Brentford were awarded a goal against Arsenal after VAR Lee Mason forgot to draw lines that would have confirmed Christian Norgaard was in an offside position. In 2020 an error by Hawkeye, who provide goal line technology, saw Sheffield United denied a goal against Aston Villa. Bournemouth were subsequently relegated by a single point that Villa might not have had if that goal had stood.

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