PGMOL has released the audio of the VAR discussion that led to a Luis Díaz goal for Liverpool being incorrectly ruled out for offside against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. PGMOL has admitted “standards fell short of expectations” with the error.
The VAR completed the offside check far too quickly, and the assistant VAR appeared to offer little through the discussion. Only the replay operator, who controls the offside lines and the camera selection, appeared to have a grasp of what was unfolding.
The referee can only hear the VAR hub when he is being directly spoken to and was unable to hear this exchange, which lasted 1 minute and 37 seconds. Below is a full transcript of that conversation.
Assistant referee: “Waiting. Delaying, delaying.”
VAR: “Possible offside, Díaz.”
Assistant referee: “Coming back for the offside, mate.”
VAR: “Just checking the offside. Delay, delay.”
VAR: “Give the kick point, let’s go. Kick point, please.”
Replay operator: “So, here we are. Just get a tight angle.”
VAR: “Yeah give me 2D line ready after this one for frame 2 after that.”
Replay operator: “So frame 2 there?”
VAR: “That’s fine. Perfect, yeah. 2D line on left boot.”
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Replay operator: “Let me just switch angles.”
VAR: “Romero I think it is.”
Replay operator: “I think it might be. This angle better? Happy with this angle?”
Replay operator: “2D line on the boot?”
VAR: “2D line on the boot.”
Replay operator: “Yep, OK.”
Replay operator: “So 2D line on the boot.”
VAR: “And stop.”
This shows that Díaz was very obviously in an onside position.
VAR, instantly: “Check complete, check complete. That’s fine, perfect.”
Referee Simon Hooper blows his whistle to restart play. Two seconds later, Tottenham take the free kick.
Three seconds later, the replay operator steps in.
Replay operator: “Wait, wait, wait, wait. The on-field decision was offside. Are you happy with this?”
Assistant VAR: “Yeah.”
Replay operator: “Are you happy with this?”
Assistant VAR: “Offside, goal, yeah … That’s wrong that, Daz.”
Replay operator: “On-field decision was offside. Are you happy with this image?”
By this point 14 seconds have elapsed since Hooper was told “check complete.”
The ‘remarkable’ mistake that led to VAR error in Spurs vs. Liverpool
Dale Johnson explains the sequence of events that led to Luis Díaz’s goal being incorrectly disallowed vs. Tottenham.
Replay operator: “Yeah, it’s onside. The image that we gave them is onside.”
Assistant VAR: “He’s played him, he’s gone offside.”
VAR: “Oh [expletive] …”
Two seconds of silence.
Replay operator: “Delay, delay.”
Replay operator: “Oli (PGMOL hub operations) saying to delay, Oli’s saying to delay.”
It’s now five more seconds since the VAR team has spoken.
The ball has now gone out of play for a throw-in. There is no communication with the referee.
Replay operator: “Oli’s calling in to say delay the game. The decision is onside.”
VAR: “Can’t do anything.”
Four seconds of silence.
Replay operator: “Oli’s saying to delay, Oli’s saying to delay.”
Replay operator: “Delay the game, to delay the game? Stop the game.”
VAR: “They’ve restarted the game. Can’t do anything.”
Assistant VAR: “Yeah, they’ve restarted. Yeah.”
VAR: “Can’t do anything.”
Assistant VAR: “No.”
VAR: “I can’t do anything.”
Three seconds of silence.
At this point, one minute after the referee had been told “check complete,” the audio ends.