Luis Diaz offside VAR no longer ‘blacklisted’ – back for first game in 6 MONTHS

The official whose “significant human error” ruled out a legitimate goal for Luis Diaz against Tottenham will be VAR again for the first time in over six months.

Darren England was stood down in the aftermath of Liverpool’s 2-1 loss away to Tottenham at the end of September, after a clear goal for Diaz was chalked off.

The Colombian was wrongly adjudged to have been offside, with a horrendous communication error from England and assistant Dan Cook in the VAR booth at fault.

PGMOL described the situation as a “significant human error,” though the audio recording of conversations between VAR and the on-field officials showed a dismissive arrogance from those involved.

Though he has held other duties including referee in recent months, England has not served as VAR for any game in the Premier League in over six months.

But the 38-year-old has now been appointed VAR for West Ham vs. Fulham on Sunday, with England no longer ‘blacklisted’ for the role.

As explained by ESPN‘s Dale Johnson, the official had been “eased back” into the top flight, with it almost three months before he refereed any game in the Premier League.

Even then, he only took charge of two fixtures between Tottenham vs. Liverpool and February 10, with the majority of his work instead coming in the Championship and the FA Cup.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 13, 2022: Referee Darren England during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

His first game back as VAR was also in the FA Cup, when he was supported (or perhaps, shadowed) by Michael Oliver for Leicester‘s 1-0 win over Bournemouth in February.

Soon after the incident in north London, it was reported that England had been removed from eligibility for any Liverpool game for the remainder of the season.

That was refuted, but he is yet to be involved with the Reds since – though he has only refereed their fixtures on four occasions throughout his career, along with five as linesman, four as fourth official and four as VAR.

Chris Kavanagh will referee Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace this weekend, with Simon Bennett and Dan Robathan linesmen, Keith Stroud fourth official and Michael Oliver supported by Stuart Burt on VAR.