Liverpool have already been involved in a few refereeing controversies this season, including Mac Allister’s soft red card (of which the ban got overturned) and van Dijk’s harsh red against Newcastle.
Last night, audio pertaining to the reasoning for Virgil van Dijk’s dismissal during Liverpool’s victory over Newcastle United was made public.
The Liverpool skipper has already served his one-match ban by missing Aston Villa last weekend, but his suspension could increase after being charged with an FA breach.
On Sky Sports’ “Match Officials: Mic’d Up,” hosted by Michael Owen and featuring Howard Webb, insight into how the match officials came to the decision to dismiss Van Dijk was presented.
Six problematic calls from the current campaign were clarified throughout the show.
In regard to the van Dijk incident, Attwell started the discussion on VAR by concentrating on Van Dijk and saying (quotes via the Liverpool Echo):
“APP (Attacking Possession Phase). Possible offside. Possible DOGSO (denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity).”
Referee Brooks can then be heard responding to this by saying: “It’s outside [the box], outside, outside. And it’s a red card. He’s through and he’s gone through the man, red card.”
The next stage of dialogue between Attwell and Brooks continues. VAR: “Delay, delay. Just checking mate.”
Brooks: “No. He comes through the man. He comes through the man, through the man to play the ball.”
VAR: “OK, can you shift it? Have you got another angle on point of contact, please. OK, it’s a clear foul. Brooksy, it’s Stuart, I’m happy with the foul.”
“I’m just going to check sanction and APP, standby. Ok, so I’m happy with that being…. freeze it there, freeze it there.”
“OK, so the ball’s going to roll across the front of him. Without the moving challenge, the attacker’s got position. He’s moving directly into the penalty area, that’s fine.”
Brooks can then be heard speaking directly to Van Dijk, telling the defender: “They will check [the decision]. It’s clearly a foul, they have just checked the location.”
“Don’t do anything silly. Listen you will be sent off, unless he [Isak] is offside. It is very, very tight.”
Howard Webb, former referee, joined Michael Owen in the analysis and believes that Brooks was right to issue the Liverpool skipper with a red card:
“We think it is a good communication of a foul by John Brooks and we see in the end Van Dijk does play the ball but, to get there, he clearly kicks through the foot of Isak and it denies a goalscoring opportunity.”
“He is close to goal; he is going to be able to control the ball quite easily and there are no covering defenders.”
“Van Dijk is not protected by the fact that if that had happened in the penalty area it would have been a yellow card for an attempt to play the ball or challenge for the ball.”
“It’s outside the penalty area so therefore it still has to be a red card for DOGSO.”
“When that happens outside the penalty area, even if the defender is trying to play the ball, which van Dijk was, the fact he committed a foul means he has to be sent off in this circumstance.”
“It’s quite a clear situation.”