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LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker looks dejected during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alisson says players feel like “prisoners” who can’t speak against referees

Alisson produced another outstanding display for Liverpool on Saturday, but after a 2-1 loss at Tottenham he was left to speak about referees again.

On another day, Alisson would have taken a portion of the headlines for a series of sensational stops to deny the likes of Heung-min Son and James Maddison.

Instead, with Joel Matip‘s cruel own goal compounding a farcical evening which saw Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota sent off and a legitimate goal from Luis Diaz ruled out for offside, it is the officials in focus.

That is not uncommon, sadly, though the magnitude of errors from referee Simon Hooper and in particular VAR Darren England is shocking.

Speaking to ESPN Brasil after the game, Alisson vented his frustrations but explained that players feel like “prisoners,” unable to criticise referees.

“My position is clear, everyone saw it,” he said of Diaz’s ‘offside’ goal.

“I don’t like talking about arbitration, nor can we talk about arbitration. Sometimes it feels like we are prisoners.

“When we open our mouths, we are punished from all sides.

“We are human beings and we have to be outraged by this kind of thing. Yes, it’s the fans’ feeling. Our feeling too.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker consoles a dejected Joel Matip after the defender scored an injury-time own-goal to give Spurs the victory during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool fought valiantly after going a goal down to Son’s tap-in, with Cody Gakpo levelling the scores before half-time – after Jones’ dismissal – while there were even hopes of a late winner after Jota was red-carded.

But with Matip sending Dejan Kulusevski’s cross into his own net, Alisson was left to rue the Diaz call as “a mistake that cost the result of the game.”

“Today could have been totally different. Now we have to deal with this,” he continued.

“We, internally, will deal with this. I hope these things stop happening internally [in PGMOL] too.

“I’ve always said that VAR is good, precisely for these unfair situations. And incredibly, these things continue to happen with something so simple, with something that is so objective.

“And the technology is there. Why don’t you use the technology that FIFA used in the World Cup?”

The technology Alisson refers to is that of semi-automated offsides, which the Premier League turned down for the current campaign despite a successful trial at the 2022 World Cup.

It was not only the offside that cost Liverpool, of course, with Hooper making a series of baffling decisions, including Jota’s first yellow for being near Destiny Udogie when he tripped himself up.

“We came back to play the second half and, unfortunately, there was another expulsion, which is also worth mentioning,” Alisson added.

“This game has a lot of topics regarding refereeing, I think it’s up to you [in the media] to talk a lot.

“You have to talk, because this kind of thing is very frustrating. Very frustrating.”