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Ex-ref Clattenburg: Liverpool VAR blunders down to comms failure - and UAE trip

Former Premier League ref Mark Clattenberg says a breakdown in communcation was key to the VAR blunders during Liverpool's defeat at Tottenham.

Liverpool had two players sent off and a goal denied as they lost 2-1 on Saturday.

Clattenberg told the Daily Mail: "The PGMOL brought in Phil Bentham last year to improve communications between the match officials because of his background in rugby league.

"As a former TMO his every word was broadcast live, and Howard Webb has been striving for his Premier League officials to make their messages clear and concise.

"But there was a total breakdown in basic communication at Tottenham on Saturday.

"Assistant Adrian Holmes should have been shouting 'offside, offside' after raising his flag against Luis Diaz. Referee Simon Hooper should have been relaying that to the players, too. All this should have been picked up by their earpieces and heard by VAR Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook at Stockley Park.

"They should have been under no illusions Diaz had been flagged offside. But for whatever reason, England and Cook thought the on-field decision was onside.

"When England said 'check complete' to Hooper, he was mistakenly confirming not that the Diaz goal was good but that it should be disallowed.

"England should have expanded on his decision. Instead of 'check complete', he should have said: 'I've checked the potential offside. It's onside, therefore I'm awarding the goal. Check complete.'

"That way, we would not have this controversy. Webb will be furious, naturally, as will Select Group One manager Jon Moss.

"The PGMOL have spent significant money to improve how VAR is applied but we are still seeing decisions as poor as these. It is a harsh lesson for England and Cook and they will not make this mistake again.

"It has been speculated that England and Cook's trip to the UAE on Thursday impacted their performance and I can tell you, those long international trips take it out of you.

"I remember doing a Europa League game in Krasnodar, Russia, on a Thursday. I returned to referee a Premier League match at the weekend and by full time, I couldn't remember what had happened over the last 90 minutes, I was that tired.

"I know other officials who have felt the same. The PGMOL need to be mindful of that when sanctioning these trips."

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