Pep Guardiola claims referees need humbling and are acting for Oscars

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was furious about the standard of officiating that led to Liverpool having a perfectly legitimate goal ruled offside despite a VAR check in their recent loss at Tottenham Hotspur.

Luis Diaz was denied the opening goal in their 2-1 loss at Spurs on Saturday having been judged offside by the on-field officials, and a VAR review failed to rule that the goal should have stood.

On Tuesday, PGMOL released the audio of the conversation between officials at Stockley Park during the Diaz incident, confirming that miscommunication between referee Simon Hooper and VAR Darren England led to the goal not counting.

England believed the on-field decision was for Diaz’s goal to stand, admitting he was happy with the call being offside. It wasn’t until play had already restarted with a Spurs free-kick that he realised the error he had made.

Luis DiazLuis Diaz

Diaz’s goal was ruled out / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Football discourse had been dominated by talk of the standard of refereeing and the effectiveness of VAR over the last few days, with Guardiola asked about the subject ahead of Man City’s Champions League clash with RB Leipzig.

“They will have to find a system where the main roles are the players and the game itself. In all the countries, not just here. The referees and the VARs are the leading roles. ‘And the Oscar goes to…’,” he said.

“They have to make a step back. It’s the players. Some games, be more humble and leave the players to do what they have to do, and they will be better.

“I understand completely how upset Liverpool must be in that case. It could be another club but the bosses of the referees will decide what we have to do and we will follow them.

“Everyone knows they made a mistake and Liverpool suffered the big consequence of that. In this type of game it is so important.”


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