Unveiling the Absence of VAR in Liverpool’s EFL Cup Clash
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s esteemed manager, has often voiced his concerns over the absence of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in certain stages of the League Cup. His comments come amidst a season where the role of match officials and VAR has been scrutinised heavily. Liverpool, in particular, has experienced the impact of this scrutiny in various matches.
High-Profile Refereeing Errors and the PGMOL’s Response
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) has found itself in a challenging position, having to repeatedly defend its decisions following a string of high-profile officiating errors. Apologies have been issued to clubs post-match when errors were acknowledged. Howard Webb, the Chief Refereeing Officer of PGMOL, has been a regular presence on television, shedding light on these mistakes and discussing measures to prevent future occurrences.
One notable incident involved Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot receiving two contentious yellow cards in quick succession, leading to his dismissal by Michael Oliver in a crucial match against Liverpool. This decision, seen by many as overly harsh, has sparked debates about the necessity of VAR, especially in significant fixtures.
League Cup Quarter-Finals: VAR Not Included
The upcoming League Cup quarter-final between Liverpool and West Ham on December 20 will occur without the presence of VAR. The technology is not employed in the early rounds of the competition, as not all participating clubs have the necessary facilities. The Premier League also opts out of using VAR during these stages to maintain fairness. VAR is expected to be utilised from the semi-finals onwards, culminating at the final in Wembley.
The quarter-finals will also feature matches between Everton and Fulham, Chelsea and Newcastle, and Port Vale against Middlesborough. Liverpool’s exit from the Carabao Cup last season at the hands of Manchester City in the quarter-finals had Klopp lamenting the lack of VAR, a sentiment he has repeated this season.
Klopp’s Reflection on VAR’s Importance
Klopp expressed his thoughts, stating, “I would say if we had VAR, the referees are used to VAR, and all of a sudden you tell them not today. It looked like in a couple of situations they were waiting for it, or thinking there was still VAR. But there were a couple of offside decisions, where everyone in the stadium was convinced they were offside. We’ll never know probably because we can’t play them back. But it makes sense if you play a competition and everywhere is VAR [Premier League], why not, especially in a game like this. I understand in earlier rounds it’s not possible on all levels. But this, City-Liverpool, all the technical things are here, so why shouldn’t we use it?”