‘We can only apologize’ – Former referee explains how VAR missed the incident with Jordan Pickford and Van Dijk


The club confirmed on Sunday that the Dutchman will undergo knee surgery after damaging his ACL at the Merseyside derby on Saturday.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher apologized to Liverpool and explained how “human error” on the part of the VAR had led to Jordan Pickford going unpunished for his challenge against Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutchman could miss the rest of the Premier League season with a serious knee injury.

The challenge was widely criticized in the social media, and Gallagher admitted that Everton’s goalkeeper should have seen red.

The incident was reviewed by VAR, but no action was taken on Pickford, while Van Dijk was removed and replaced by Joe Gomez.

“When you see that, you have to watch for a penalty kick. There are three steps, is it an onside, is it a penalty and is there another sanction?

He explained how the VAR missed a crucial process in his decision making during the review of the incident and apologized for the human error.

“I believe the process was followed in some way and it was flawed,” Gallagher told Ref Watch.

“It was human error, and that’s all we can do is apologize for it. That’s all you can say, the process was that they went backwards to go forward and then stopped at step two, and it’s as simple as that.

“What they did, is that a punishment? It’s a punishment, so they are testing and it’s offside, which negates the punishment. They went from step two to step one, step two eliminates step one, and they missed going to step three, which they shouldn’t have done, we all know it should have been a red card.

“The VAR hub is completely enclosed, nobody has access to it. If you restart the offside decision, even if you could reach it, it is too late, because the game would have restarted, and once it has restarted, you can never go back”.


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