Fans realise only man to spot Liverpool VAR error is NOT qualified ref and dub replay operator ‘breakout hero of 2023’


FOOTBALL fans have been left dumbfounded after realising the person that spotted the astonishing VAR blunder during Tottenham’s win over Liverpool was NOT a qualified referee.

VAR failed to overturn the on-field decision to disallow Luis Diaz’s goal for offside on Sunday despite drawing the lines to show he was onside.


Luis Diaz was clearly onside but VAR failed to overturn the on-field decisionCredit: Sky Sports
It was the replay operator that spotted the goal had not been awarded rather than the VAR or AVAR


It was the replay operator that spotted the goal had not been awarded rather than the VAR or AVAR

VAR officials Darren England and assistant VAR Dan Cook then restarted the game, confirming the check was complete.

What they somehow failed to realise was that the original decision was offside.

And neither VAR England or AVAR Cook spotted their huge mistake when the game resumed – as has now been revealed following the release of the audio.

Incredibly, it took the replay operator to point out that the goal had been awarded.

He can be heard saying: “Wait, wait, wait, wait. The on-field decision was offside. Are you happy with this?”

AVAR Cook then responds: “Yeah.”

The replay operator then asks again: “Are you happy with this?”

Cook again bizarrely replies: “Offside, goal, yeah.”


Then realising his error, he tells England: “That’s wrong that, Daz.”

Confused, VAR England says: “What?”

Once again, the replay operator remains the clearest communicator, adding: “On-field decision was offside. Are you happy with this image? It’s onside. The image that we gave them is onside.”

Only then does England realise the grave error as he can be heard swearing.

The officials go on to insist they cannot stop the game and rectify the mistake as Diaz’s goal remained wrongfully disallowed.

And fans on social media were left flabbergasted that the only unqualified official involved in the process was the one to spot the error.

One supporter said: “Remarkable that it’s the replay operator who’s first to spot this catastrophic error rather than the collection of qualified referees present.”

Another added: “Oh, except for the replay operator, who I think is not a referee, and immediately spots that something major has gone wrong.

“He is then shouted down by the VAR, who just repeats ‘nothing we can do’ in a manner that is…not especially becoming.”

A third replied: “The replay operator realising the massive mistake before any of the qualified PGMOL referees is hardly a positive either, is it?”

While a fourth responded: “The replay operator noticed the error quicker than the team of paid ‘experts’ 😭😭😭.”

And a fifth said: “Congrats to Replay Operator for becoming the the breakout hero of 2023.”

Prior to asking for the audio to be released Liverpool published a strong statement about the incident.

They said: ” Liverpool Football Club acknowledges PGMOL’s admission of their failures last night. It is clear that the correct application of the laws of the game did not occur, resulting in sporting integrity being undermined.

“We fully accept the pressures that match officials work under but these pressures are supposed to be alleviated, not exacerbated, by the existence and implementation of VAR.

“It is therefore unsatisfactory that sufficient time was not afforded to allow the correct decision to be made and that there was no subsequent intervention.

“That such failings have already been categorised as ‘significant human error’ is also unacceptable. Any and all outcomes should be established only by the review and with full transparency.

“This is vital for the reliability of future decision-making as it applies to all clubs with learnings being used to make improvements to processes in order to ensure this kind of situation cannot occur again.

“In the meantime, we will explore the range of options available, given the clear need for escalation and resolution.”

The PGMOL took action on Sunday by removing VAR England from Nottingham Forest’s draw with Brentford.

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