Big decision made on Tottenham vs Liverpool referee after VAR controversy and complaints

Premier League referee Darren England
Darren England is back on VAR duty this weekend -Credit:Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Referee Darren England is set to return to VAR duty for the first time since his huge error during Liverpool's early season battle with Tottenham. England wrongly ruled out a legitimate goal by Luis Diaz, leading to his temporary removal from all officiating duties.

It's been over six months since England last served as a video referee, but he's now scheduled to oversee Fulham's clash with West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday. After the Diaz incident, England gradually returned to refereeing, taking on both main and fourth official roles in various matches.

Nearly three months passed after the mistake before England refereed another top-flight game. He has overseen just two Premier League fixtures up to February 10, along with nine Championship games.

READ MORE: Premier League confirm huge new VAR change that will impact Liverpool and Everton

READ MORE: Ruben Amorim hits back at Liverpool claim in passionate response to agreement rumours

The 38-year-old has also acted as VAR in a few FA Cup games since the incident last September, but this weekend will mark his first time back in the VAR seat for a Premier League match since then.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) described the error as 'a critical lapse in concentration and clear lack of an individual match official which saw him inexplicably "check completing" an incorrect on-field decision.'

England had incorrectly confirmed a decision for what should have been a Diaz goal against Spurs, causing confusion as the original offside call stood despite the forward being clearly behind the last defender, denying Liverpool the goal, reports

The gaffe was swiftly noticed, with broadcasted recordings of the incident made public later on. The Mirror reports that England expressed his frustration in colourful language when his colleagues pointed out his mistake. However, as the game had already kicked off again, England was unable to overturn it.

In response to the oversight, the PGMOL released a statement: "As stated shortly after the full-time whistle on Saturday evening, we acknowledged in a statement that a significant human error had occurred during the aforementioned match, which we recognise should have resulted in a goal being awarded through VAR intervention.

"As with all goal situations, the VAR team checked every aspect of the goal. After the on-field officials had disallowed the goal for offside, the checking phase and process started and was carried out correctly by the VAR. The kick-point selection was accurate and the use of a single 2D line on the foot of the second rear-most defender was also correctly positioned.

"The image created showed that Luis Diaz was clearly onside, without the need for the insertion of a second line. In a lapse of concentration and loss of focus in that moment, the VAR lost sight of the on-field decision and he incorrectly communicated "check complete", therefore inadvertently confirming the on-field decision. He did this without any dialogue with the AVAR [Assistant VAR].

"The match then restarted immediately. After a few seconds, the Replay Operator and then the AVAR queried the check-complete outcome with the VAR and asked him to review the image that had been created, pointing out that the original on-field decision had been offside, but this was not communicated to the on-field team at any point during the match."

"The VAR team then gave consideration as to whether the game could be stopped at that point, however the VAR and AVAR concluded that the VAR protocol within the Laws of the Game would not permit that to happen, and they decided intervention was not possible as play had restarted."