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‘You can’t see this at home’ – Gary Neville shares VAR theory after spotting what referee did moments after Liverpool goal ruled out



Gary Neville was heavily critical of VAR’s mistake to deny Liverpool and Luis Diaz a goal after PGMOL issued an apologetic statement

Gary Neville agrees that PGMOL’s mistake to incorrectly review Luis Diaz’s goal against Tottenham Hotspur for offside was ‘horrendous’, whilst also stating ‘something hasn’t felt right’ with regards to VAR this season.

The moment of peak controversy arrived in the 34th minute of Saturday evening’s defeat in North London. Diaz latched onto a through ball from Mohamed Salah and fired beyond Guglielmo Vicario to hand the Reds the lead.

Or so it seemed. It came less than 10 minutes after Curtis Jones had been contentiously dismissed for an offence deemed to be serious foul play, lifting spirits amongst the away cohort. However in a flash the goal was chalked off for offside, allowing Spurs to take the lead moments later.

It had other major repercussions as with Liverpool chasing the game, Diogo Jota made two rash decisions to get himself sent off in the second half, further compounding the problems at hand. In the 96th minute the hosts then found their winner.

Sky Sports were forced to apologise as they too were in the dark about the ruling against Diaz’s goal. Typically the broadcaster can access images used by officials with lines drawn on by hand to determine offsides, though they were not available.

And it turned out they did in fact not exist, as VAR Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook made a ‘significant human error’ in their roles as the duo failed to intervene and cancel out the on-field decision. PGMOL released an apology for this, meaning the goal should have stood.

As this was released whilst Sky were still live on air, presenter Kelly Cates read this out to pundits Neville and former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp.

“No, no. Kelly, seriously,” Neville responded in disbelief. “Yes, yes. That’s what has happened,” replied Cates.

The ex-Manchester United full-back continued: “No, no. At the time I thought we get VAR up on the commentary box before anybody else does and I thought ‘that’s onside’. Then all of a sudden you just hear in you ear [the goal has been ruled out].

“We get the pictures up in the gantry – the commentary from VAR officials to the referee – and you get ‘check complete’. You’re like, ‘what?’ No lines. It was too quick and something was obviously wrong.

“That is unbelievable. That is a bad one. A really, really [bad mistake]. That is very significant –

At this point Redknapp cut in, querying: “It makes you wonder how many others [decisions VAR officials have got wrong].”

“Oh I know,” Neville agreed. “The last few weeks I just thought haven’t been right and I’ve been asking have we got the right cameras at these stadiums? We never seem to be in line anymore. We’ve always been in line.

“We have the lines on the pitch. By the way, these groundsmen have laser, pinpoint accuracy. They never get a line wrong. When you look at the lines on the pitch, they’re so accurate.

“I’ve defended VAR and offsides as being a matter of fact, but there’s been two or three in the last few weeks where I thought behind the scenes that hasn’t felt right – the angle’s aren’t right, have they drawn the lines on [correctly?]

“It was all too quick, it wasn’t right. At the time I was like ‘right then, we’ll move on’, and I actually went down to the director who said they’ll have definitely drawn the lines on at Stockley Park. I went ‘how can they have done? It was too quick? Have they drawn the lines on?’

“We obviously know the explanation of how they’ve got it wrong –

Again, Redknapp interjected: “And it doesn’t make you feel any better if you’re the Liverpool manager – how do you feel about that? That’s a horrendous error.”

“That is a horrendous one because I can see by times you might have loads of players in the way, they might have drawn it on the wrong shoulder, that is clearly Romero’s foot and clearly Diaz’s shoulder. It is clear to everybody,” Neville agreed with his co-pundit for the second time.

“There’s only two players, loads of space, it’s not like there’s a collection of players in line but I still keep saying over these last few weeks something hasn’t been right. We always used to have cameras in line with every point in the stadium and it’s almost as if now there are no cameras in line.

“What are they doing? They’re picking the wrong cameras to even do the lines on. It’s just weird. I’ve said the same thing, they’re picking the wrong cameras to actually put the lines on. Something doesn’t feel right.”

After seeing Dale Johnson’s explanation of how the officials came to the decision, Neville would later add on Twitter: “I’m pretty sure if you look at the refs face they were thinking of taking the game back and say it was a goal. There is a moment where the ref looks sick! On the gantry ( you can’t see this at home ) the VAR screen was locked on the offside decision whilst the game went on. They knew pretty much straight away but for some reason didn’t go back or can’t through rules go back!!”

TV images moments after Spurs took their free-kick showed referee Hooper appearing to listen to his earpiece and lifting his whistle towards his mouth, before hesitating and allowing play to continue.


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