Showing a great deal of restraint, Virgil van Dijk described one controversial decision in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Tottenham as ‘a bit strange’.
The Reds captain was referring to the disallowed Luis Diaz goal, which was wrongly ruled out for offside, as acknowledged by the PGMOL after the match, with VAR replays not displaying the usual coloured lines for such decisions (BBC Sport).
The 32-year-old was asked afterwards if he was ‘losing faith’ in the technological system, which has caused no shortage of mayhem in the Premier League since its introduction in 2019.
As per BBC Sport, Van Dijk replied: “I’m losing faith is difficult to say. The VAR should be absolutely clear and obvious with everything they’re deciding on. I’ve seen the still back, I think on live TV there were no lines being shown.
“It’s all a bit strange, I don’t know who was in the VAR room and making that decision. It’s not a good thing, it doesn’t look well either. It is what it is, we lost.”
Everything Van Dijk said after the game was fair. The whole reason why VAR was introduced in the first place was to eradicate ‘clear and obvious’ errors, yet we’re still seeing those occurring on a weekly basis in the Premier League.
Whatever about the assistant referees on the touchline trying to judge offsides in real time with the naked eye, the officials in Stockley Park who’ve access to every bit of technological help they can get have no excuse for errors as blatant as the one for Diaz’s disallowed goal.
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They can make costly mistakes week after week with little consequence in terms of their own jobs, yet frequently when players and managers justifiably vent over inexplicable refereeing errors, they’re subjected to suspensions and fines.
It’s clear that many of those who play the game are at their wit’s end when it comes to the seriously flawed usage of VAR, and the problem isn’t with the concept in and of itself but rather in how it’s applied.
All we want is for officials to make the best use of the support they’ve now been given, but clearly in the Premier League they’re not doing that. Don’t hold your breath for that to change any time soon.