Jürgen Klopp has called for Liverpool’s Premier League defeat at Tottenham to be replayed owing to the unprecedented errors behind Luis Díaz’s disallowed goal.
The Liverpool manager, widely praised for his dignified response to the shambles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, insisted a replay would be the fairest solution to the biggest VAR crisis that the referees’ body, Professional Match Game Officials Ltd (PGMOL), has faced.
No mechanism exists for Liverpool to request a replay from the Premier League and Klopp concedes his appeal is unlikely to succeed. But Liverpool’s general counsel and director of football administration, Jonathan Bamber, is exploring what options are available to the club.
Klopp, who believes the game should have been stopped and Díaz’s goal awarded as soon as the VAR, Darren England, realised the mistake, said: “All the people involved – on-field ref, linesman, fourth official and especially now in this case VAR – they didn’t do that on purpose. We shouldn’t forget that. It was an obvious mistake and I think there would have been solutions for it afterwards.
“If not, I can say immediately, and probably some people don’t want me to say it, not as the manager of Liverpool but much more as a football person, I think the only outcome should be a replay. That’s how it is. It probably will not happen. The argument against that will probably be if you open that gate then everybody will ask for it. I think the situation is that unprecedented that a replay would be the right thing.
“In this specific game, what makes it a bit more special is that we conceded two minutes after we scored a regular goal. How all things depend on each other, if the other goal would have counted we would have started in the centre of the pitch and not where it started. It would have been different. That’s my view on it.”
Klopp’s call for a replay will heighten pressure on the PGMOL amid its review into Saturday’s controversy and creates a new problem for the Premier League. Klopp accepts other clubs wronged by VAR could demand that other matches be replayed, but said the process behind disallowing Díaz’s goalcreated an unprecedented situation.
“It is really unprecedented that part of the refereeing team gave the goal and said ‘goal’. That is really rare, and yet it doesn’t show up on the screen or on the scoresheet and we continued with a free-kick. So that makes it completely different [from other VAR complaints]. What is the possible outcome? I’m just interested in how we can improve things. This [a replay] will not happen next week, definitely not. It will take really long I am sure.
“We have to just talk about it completely calm. All the emotions are out, the game is finished, what can be really the possible outcome? … If that happened in the future again, then I would say replay, or much better than a replay, sort it in the moment. Just with common sense and you don’t have that problem any more. Maybe it will happen in 10 years again, and they can say: ‘Yes, last time we had to play a replay, organise a replay and now we can do it like that, what a wonderful solution.’ And that would be a big improvement. We will see.”
Klopp is also aggrieved that Liverpool’s appeal over Curtis Jones’s red card at Spurs was unsuccessful, meaning the midfielder must serve a three-match suspension, and over the circumstances of Diogo Jota’s dismissal.
“The referee got called to the screen and saw for the first three seconds a frozen picture,” he said of Jones’s challenge. “I would have given immediately a red card for that picture. Then he sees the replay in slow motion and I’d have given a red card for the slow motion. But it’s not a red card.
“The FA panel say it’s not a clear and obvious mistake, but I think it is. The ref’s first decision is yellow. Then the clear and obvious mistake is showing a frozen picture and in slow motion … On top of that, Diogo Jota got two yellow cards for not touching a player once. That is unprecedented as well I would say.”