One journalist has backed Liverpool over the statement they issued in response to the VAR-induced controversy over Luis Diaz’s disallowed goal in their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham on Saturday.
The Merseyside club issued a strongly-worded statement on Sunday night which highlighted how ‘sporting integrity’ had been ‘undermined’, criticised the PGMOL’s subsequent explanation of “significant human error” as ‘unacceptable’ and vowed to ‘explore the range of options available, given the clear need for escalation and resolution’.
Public opinion has been divided as to whether that was the right course of action by the club, but John Cross has lauded them for calling out the pitiful standards of refereeing in the Premier League.
The Mirror journalist said in a discussion of the topic among his colleagues: “Liverpool are well within their rights to issue a statement. Frankly, I’m in favour of anything that shines a light on the VAR farce which feels like it is getting worse with every howler.
“Luis Diaz’s disallowed goal felt like a tipping point. The clubs have had enough. Sorry, but if statements are being put out about their players and managers then it’s reached a point where the clubs probably want their say.”
Liverpool have come in for criticism over the statement issued last night, with some pundits arguing that there’s nothing more the PGMOL can do on top of apologising for their officials’ failings on Saturday.
However, the Reds were quite right to publicly call for improvements to the operation of VAR, and the standard of refereeing in general, as it’s a long-standing mess which – as LFC acknowledged – ‘applies to all clubs’.
With so much money at stake at this level and technological assistance to call upon, it’s not good enough to simply crack on with the status quo of inexplicable decisions haunting Premier League games every weekend.
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This isn’t purely a Liverpool matter – fans of every club to have played in the top flight since VAR’s introduction four years ago could probably point to certain incidents where they’ve been let down by officials not doing their job properly.
As Cross said, Saturday’s farce comes as a ‘tipping point’ where even clubs have decided to abandon the usual PR-driven rhetoric and call for action to be taken to improve refereeing standards in this country, because that improvement is most certainly needed.
Also, for anyone having a go at the Reds over the statement being issued – it could be your team on the receiving end of an injustice next weekend, but we wouldn’t wish it upon any club to be subjected to what we experienced in the Spurs game.