Referee Darren England, who was at the center of a controversial call between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, will be back in action.

“Referee Darren England and video assistant referee (VAR) Dan Cook will return to Premier League (PL) matches this weekend,” the Daily Mail reported on April 18 (Korea time). Darren England will be the fourth assistant referee at Brentford and Burnley, while Cook will be one of the match officials at Sheffield United and Manchester United.”

Initially, the referees were removed from the roster after a series of high-profile blunders. The incident unfolded over the past day. Liverpool lost 1-2 to Tottenham in the seventh round of the 2023-24 Premier League (PL) season at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England.

It was an unfair game. The game was marred by officiating. In the 34th minute, Liverpool went on the counterattack. Mohamed Salah slipped a pass through space, which was collected and finished by the onrushing Dias to give the Reds the lead.

However, the goal was disallowed for offside. The referee made the decision after communicating with the VAR. However, there was some miscommunication between England VAR Darren England and referee Simon Hooper. After the game, PGMOL released an official statement shortly afterward saying, “We acknowledge that a significant mistake was made in the first half between Tottenham and Liverpool.”

Referee Hooper was asked if he was offside and was told “checked”, so he assumed he was and disallowed the goal. Two seconds after he said “confirmed,” the game went on. It took the England VAR referee seven seconds after play resumed for him to realize his mistake. However, the match officials panicked and failed to call for a stoppage of play. Even under the current rules, a decision that has been reviewed by a VAR cannot be overturned.

After the game, Liverpool demanded that the exact recording be made public. The UK’s Evening Standard reported on March 3 that “a miscommunication between VAR England and referee Hooper led to Dias’ goal being disallowed. In response, Liverpool are understood to have made a formal request to PGMOL for the audio between the two officials.”

The audio released was shocking. The VAR referee vaguely responded to the offside call by saying, “It’s checked, it’s fine. It’s perfect,” the VAR referee vaguely replied, and the referee recognized the play as offside. The replay official then said, “The decision on the field is offside, it’s onside. The image we gave you is onside. Stop (the play), stop it, stop it!” the replay official urged. 스포츠토토

The VAR referee replied, “I can’t do anything, they put the game back in play, I can’t do anything,” and the game continued. Son Heung-min scored the first goal of the game shortly after the call, and the situation spiraled out of control. In the end, Liverpool lost 1-2, and the referee’s decision cost them dearly.