Darren England has been replaced as the fourth official for Sunday’s Premier League game between Nottingham Forest and Brentford after his error as the video assistant referee during Liverpool’s defeat at Tottenham.
England failed to overturn an incorrect decision on the pitch to disallow a Luis Diaz goal for offside as the Reds were beaten 2-1 on Saturday.
Dan Cook was assistant VAR for the game and he has been replaced as assistant referee for the game between Fulham and Chelsea on Monday.
“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,” said referees’ body PGMOL.
What happened in disallowing Diaz goal?
At 0-0 and with Liverpool down to 10 men, winger Diaz’s goal was disallowed on the field, with England upholding the decision after a quick VAR check, in which the customary offside line graphic was not shown.
BBC Sport understands the correct procedure was followed for the controversial decision but the mistake was down to human error.
The lines were drawn in accordance with normal procedure and every other aspect was checked.
However, what is being described by sources as a lapse of concentration led to a loss of focus around the initial on-field decision and then a ‘check complete’ being confirmed rather than an intervention which would have resulted in the goal being awarded.
It is understood referees’ chief Howard Webb has spoken to Liverpool about the incident.
A PGMOL statement after the game said “a significant human error occurred”.
It added: “The goal by Luiz 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.”
Speaking after the match, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his side’s defeat came in “the most unfair circumstances” with “crazy decisions”.
“That is not offside when you see it,” he told Sky Sports.
“The ball is between Mo [Salah]’s legs, they drew the line wrong and didn’t judge the moment when Mo passed the ball right.”
Klopp also said the PGMOL statement “doesn’t help” and referenced the apology Wolves received for the decision not to award a penalty at Manchester United earlier in the season.
Former England striker Alan Shearer described VAR’s error as “incomprehensible” on BBC Match of the Day.
“The one bit of VAR we have accepted and learned we can’t argue about was offside,” he said.
“This will put so much doubt into decisions that go on. It is a monumental error. We spotted it straight away.”
Liverpool also had Curtis Jones controversially sent off by referee Simon Hooper, who initially gave the midfielder a yellow card for a foul on Yves Bissouma before upgrading it to a red after being asked to review the decision on the pitchside monitor.
Reds forward Diogo Jota was also dismissed for two bookings.
Tottenham took the lead in the game through Son Heung-min and, while Cody Gakpo equalised for the Reds, a Joel Matip own goal in injury-time gave Spurs victory.
Speaking about VAR, Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou says he has “never really been a fan of it since it came in” as it “complicates areas of the game that I thought were pretty clear in the past”.
He added: “I can see at the same time why it was inevitable that technology would come in. We have to deal with it.
“The game is littered with historical refereeing decisions that weren’t right, but we all accepted that it was part of the game because we’re dealing with human beings.
“I think that people are under the misconception that VAR is going to be errorless. It’s down to interpretation, and they’re still human beings.
“When you put such a high bar on something, it invariably is going to fail, so if people are thinking that VAR is going to be something that at some point that is perfect, that’s never going to happen.”