VAR pulled from Liverpool vs. Everton duty hours before kickoff after blunder

There has been a last-minute change to the list of officials for Liverpool vs. Everton on Monday night, following a high-profile VAR error at the weekend.

Saturday’s derby between Crystal Palace and Brighton was marred by a baffling offside call to deny Pervis Estupinan a goal that would have decided the game.

Pascal Gross danced through challenges on the edge of the box and played in the left-back for a brilliant finish to make it 1-0, only for VAR John Brooks to adjudge him to have been offside.

But the Ecuadorian was not offside, and the lines drawn to judge the situation were done so incorrectly.

The PGMOL issued an apology on Sunday for “significant errors” in that game and the meeting between Arsenal and Brentford, which both ended 1-1.

According to the Mail, referees’ chief Howard Webb has called all officials to Stockley Park for an inquest on Tuesday.

Before then, though, an immediate decision has been made to remove Brooks from VAR duties for his next two games: Liverpool vs. Everton and Arsenal vs. Man City.

As confirmed by the Premier League, Andre Marriner will now stand in as VAR for the Merseyside derby, supporting referee Simon Hooper.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 29, 2013: Referee Howard Webb during the Premiership match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is a strong call by Webb who is taking a more active and transparent role as chief refereeing officer of the PGMOL, and one that should be applauded.

The Premier League is presented as the highest standard of domestic football worldwide, but games are too often impacted by senseless decisions by officials.

Brooks is unlikely to be demoted for long, of course, but after such a high-profile error just days previous it is only right to remove him from duty at Anfield.