Liverpool fans aren’t believing Howard Webb’s claims over Luis Diaz VAR

Howard Webb’s attempts to explain the failures of referees and VAR around the Luis Diaz offside goal have not washed with Liverpool supporters.

Webb, the head of refereeing body PGMOL, appeared on Sky Sports’ ‘Match Officials: Mic’d Up’ on Tuesday night, covering a number of controversies.

At first, the former Premier League seemed to be taking a conservative route as he discussed Liverpool’s 2-1 loss at Tottenham and Arsenal‘s 1-0 win over Man City in particular.

But there were two significant claims made by the 52-year-old in the process:

  • 1) Referee Simon Hooper was supposedly not aware of the Diaz offside farce until AFTER the game
  • 2) Referee Michael Oliver did not show Mateo Kovacic a red card for two nasty challenges in quick succession to avoid having a “negative impact”

Webb’s analysis of Diaz’s disallowed goal – which has led to major changes to the implementation of VAR in England – can be seen below:

Those two claims are eye-opening, and for Liverpool fans, Webb’s attempt at explaining the situation at Tottenham has not matched up to the reality.

To suggest that Hooper did not know VAR had wrongly ruled out a goal for the Reds until after full-time, when Spurs had emerged 2-1 victors against a side with nine men, is remarkable.

Previously, it had been claimed that the referee did not know the extent of the error until half-time, which certainly makes more sense.

But even then, there was a moment soon after Diaz’s goal where Hooper appeared to have learned of the situation on the pitch, with the gravity etched on his face.

That is largely speculation, with PGMOL only releasing the audio between officials of two minutes or so around the decision.

Either way, supporters on social media took exception to Webb’s claims – including those around Arsenal 1-0 Man City:

Somehow, in speaking to Sky Sports over a week after the incident, Webb has made the situation worse for the referees he is responsible for.

His claims have not only brought the integrity of the game into further question, but cast an abysmal light on those officials for somehow not communicating an unprecedented error before full-time.

If that was really the case, all involved would already be out the door.