Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reviews the Aston Villa game
Virgil van Dijk wants Premier League refereeing rules to be tweaked so that the conversations of match officials can be heard when they are making certain decisions. Van Dijk was involved as Liverpool saw a goal controversially ruled out in their draw with Aston Villa on Saturday.
The centre-back was beyond the last Villa defender in the build-up to Cody Gakpo’s close-range finish which was ruled out after a lengthy VAR review. Referee John Brooks went over to the pitch-side monitor and adjudged Villa’s Ezri Konsa not to have played the ball deliberately.
A Premier League statement later in the day read: “Van Dijk was in an offside position from Luis Diaz‘s header. The VAR recommended a review, and referee John Brooks determined it was a deflection off Ezri Konsa, not a deliberate play.”
But the players on the pitch were left baffled as they waited for a decision. And the Dutchman is eager for the Premier League to adapt its rules and regulations so that those on the pitch and in the stands have complete clarity over why calls are being made.
Van Dijk said post-match: “I’ve no idea [why it was ruled out] – I didn’t understand what was going on at all. I asked Michael Oliver (fourth official) on the side of the pitch, and apparently it was a question if the Villa player deliberately knocked it back or something, but I have no idea, yes or no.”
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Van Dijk would also support officials having to address journalists in post-match interviews like players. “I think it would be good if next season we can hear what they discuss, everyone around it, and be transparent,” he said.
“For them to explain with you guys (the media), coming here (in the interview area); that’s what happened in Holland, why not over here in the Premier League?”
PGMOL chief refereeing officer Howard Webb recently made an appearance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football and for the first time ever, audio was heard between referees and the VAR from flashpoints earlier in the season. Webb confirmed though that listening to officials live – in the stadium or on TV – is currently not allowed because of FIFA stipulations.
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He said: “We’re looking to do this as much as we possibly can and tonight is something new. We’re making a small step forward and looking into next season we’ll be looking to do more of the same.
“We can’t play it live within the game, as that is not allowed within the laws of the game – FIFA don’t allow us to play this out during the game, and who knows where that might go in future.
“But, there’s nothing to stop us doing what we’re doing tonight and showing that information later. I hope tonight’s been a good insight as we draw that curtain back, we’ve tried to show you a range of situations and looking forward we’re hoping to do more of the same.”
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