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Premier League rule could see Tottenham vs Liverpool replayed after VAR blunder



The furious Reds have not demanded the game take place again after officials’ howler saw Luis Diaz’s goal ruled out, but the Premier League’s own rules state such a decision is possible

The Premier League could decide to replay Tottenham Hotspur’s game with Liverpool – if an appointed commission rules that the match officials breached the Laws of the game when it came to ruling out Luis Diaz’s goal.

Audio of the incident will be released soon by referees’ body PGMOL, who are striving to be as transparent as possible following Saturday evening’s embarrassing howler, but only after Liverpool have been allowed to assess what communication took place between the ref Simon Hooper, the VAR Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook.

Both England and Cook have been sidelined by PGMOL but Hooper acted as fourth official in Monday night’s game between Fulham and Chelsea, indicating that he has been exonerated from blame.

The Reds have not called for the game to be replayed but a carefully worded statement said they would “explore the range of options available, given the clear need for escalation and resolution.”

That, according to experts, suggests they have already sought legal advice and should they end up lobbying for the match to be replayed after digesting the audio, there is a pathway for that to happen.

Stephen Taylor Heath, co-head of Sports Law at JMW Solicitors, told Mirror Football: “Rule L18 outlines that the Premier League board has the power to order a league match to be replayed provided that recommendation to that effect has been made by a commission under rule W51

“In addition to this, under rule W1, the Premier League’s board has the power to inquire about any suspected breach of rules, including those made by a match official, while rule N4 ensures that each match official agrees to be bound by the laws of the game as well as any protocols and FA rules.

“There is therefore a possibility that Liverpool could lobby the Premier League board to convene a commission which would have the power, among others, to order the match to be replayed.

“To mount a general legal case outside of the Premier League regulations, a starting point would normally have to be to establish a contractual nexus between the club and the officials that has been breached or a duty of care and negligence causing loss.”

Yet it would be legally difficult for Liverpool to argue that they lost points in the circumstances – and it would not be until the end of the campaign that the possible impact of the officials’ mistake can be fully assessed.

Taylor Heath added: “While it has been established sports participants owe a duty of care to each other – such as personal injury – it would be very difficult for Liverpool to establish that the error itself cost them points in a legal sense given the infinite scenarios that could have arisen had the goal stood – for example, it is not the same as a horse race where the error is as to the winner at the end of a race.

“It is also worth noting that Liverpool can only really assess the potential impact of this decision come the end of the season.”

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