Luis Diaz
Luis Diaz is at the centre of a VAR storm after his goal was ruled offside against Tottenham Hotspur. AFP / Paul ELLIS

The English Premier League is in the middle of a fresh VAR scandal after Liverpool FC lost 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday night. The match could have ended in a draw, but referees wrongly disallowed the opening goal from Liverpool striker Luis Diaz after it was erroneously deemed to have been offside.

The massive officiating blunder was evident even while the match was still in progress. Replays from the broadcasting partners were able to show that Cristian Romero had played Diaz onside as the latter charged forward to receive a pass from Mohamed Salah. He subsequently found the back of the net, but the assistant referee's flag went up for offside.

A very brief check took place, and the referee was apparently told that the VAR check was complete and his decision was allowed to stand. The referee in charge at the VAR room was named as Darren England, and he was assisted by Dan Cook. For some bizarre reason, they did not go to the extra step of analysing the red and green lines closely to check for offside.

Apparently, the reason behind the blunder was that England clearly saw that the goal was onside, but he forgot that the on-field decision was for offside. Therefore, when he said that the VAR check was done, he failed to tell on-field referee Simon Hooper that he needed to change his earlier decision to rule out the goal. Instead of awarding the goal to Liverpool, the match was then allowed to continue at 0-0.

Following the fiasco, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) confirmed that there was a "significant human error" on the part of the VAR official, who "forgot" to tell Hooper to award the goal. The statement said: "PGMOL acknowledge a significant human error occurred during the first half of Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool. The goal by Luis Diaz was disallowed for offside by the on-field team of match officials. This was a clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention, however, the VAR failed to intervene."

The group then assured that they will review what led to the blunder, and that they will be contacting Liverpool to acknowledge the mistake. However, it is unclear if it is possible to reverse the decision retroactively and award the goal several hours after the conclusion of the match. No explanation was also given as to why the decision was not immediately reversed once the referee realised his error and while the match was still ongoing.

Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville covered the match and was still on air doing the post-match analysis when the PGMOL statement came out. He said: "Oh no. Oh no. No, no. Kelly seriously... We get VAR up on the commentary box before anyone else does and I thought, 'That's onside.' We get a preview of the pictures up on the gantry, we get the actual commentary from the VAR officials to the referee. And then all of a sudden you just hear in your ear, 'Check complete.'

"What? No lines. It was so quick. It was too quick. Something was obviously wrong.

"That is unbelievable. That is a bad one, a really bad one," he added in disbelief.

Needless to say, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was livid after losing the match. In the press conference, he said: "I never saw a game like this with the most unfair circumstances, crazy decisions."

Apart from the disallowed goal, Liverpool were also reduced to nine men by the end of the match thanks to red cards given to Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota. "The first red card, Curtis steps on the ball and goes over. Not a bad tackle. First Jota yellow was not a yellow. Then he gets a second and to defend with nine players is tricky," said Klopp.

"The offside goal. That is not offside when you see it, they drew their lines wrong," he added.