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Liverpool receive apology from the PGMOL but is that enough?

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Liverpool reportedly received an apology from PGMOL chief Howard Webb after Luis Diaz’s goal was incorrectly ruled out for offside against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. 

The refereeing body admitted they made a mistake as VAR should have awarded the Reds a goal in the first half of the game. 

The decision cost Jurgen Klopp’s side dearly as Heung-min Son’s strike and a late own-goal from Joel Matip handed Spurs a 2-1 victory

However, Liverpool are not satisfied with just an apology from the PGMOL. They believe that ‘sporting integrity has been undermined’ by the error and will ‘explore the range of options available given the clear need for escalation and resolution’. 

In a strong statement on Sunday night, the Merseyside club said: “Liverpool Football Club acknowledges PGMOL’s admission of their failures last night.

“It is clear that the correct application of the laws of the game did not occur, resulting in sporting integrity being undermined.

“We fully accept the pressures that match officials work under but these pressures are supposed to be alleviated, not exacerbated, by the existence and implementation of VAR.

“It is therefore unsatisfactory that sufficient time was not afforded to allow the correct decision to be made and that there was no subsequent intervention.

“That such failings have already been categorised as ‘significant human error’ is also unacceptable. Any and all outcomes should be established only by the review and with full transparency.

“This is vital for the reliability of future decision-making as it applies to all clubs, with learnings being used to make improvements to the process to ensure this kind of situation cannot occur again.

“In the meantime, we will explore the range of options available, given the clear need for escalation and resolution.”

Liverpool’s statement sparked a reaction from former Manchester United star Gary Neville who called it a mistake, insisting ‘sorry should be respected and not undervalued’. 

Despite Neville’s comments, the mistake cost the Reds a point and the apology will not rectify that. 

Jurgen Klopp’s side have twice missed out on the Premier League title by the difference of just one point. 

Refereeing standards are not improving, as witnessed during Sunday’s 1-1 draw between Nottingham Forest and Brentford

Forest manager Steve Cooper was frustrated with the dismissal of Moussa Niakhate, while Brentford boss Thomas Frank was unhappy with a VAR mistake after a second-half foul on Yoane Wissa. 

Cooper says the PGMOL is currently going through a difficult time, and they need urgent help from managers and clubs. 

We have previously seen apologies from the refereeing body after making incorrect decisions, but nothing has changed.

Concrete steps need to be taken to improve the standards.

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