Fulham vs Liverpool referee confirmed 4 months after 'crazy' VAR error

Fulham vs Liverpool will be refereed by Simon Hooper - four months after his 'crazy' error against the Reds. It hasn't been received well.

The EFL have officially announced the referees for the Carabao Cup semi-final second legs. Liverpool will take on Fulham at Craven Cottage, of course, having won the first leg 2-1 at Anfield.

But it's certainly a controversial choice of referee. Simon Hooper will take to the pitch for this one – four months after his historic blunder against the Reds.

That came as Liverpool played away at Tottenham Hotspur. They were down to 10 men at the time but managed to take the lead through Luis Diaz. Only, it was disallowed for offside, wrongly.

Diaz was onside but VAR inexplicably failed to override the decision despite seeing that for a fact. Much confusion followed and the VAR audio was released after calls to do so.

Hooper was the VAR for the game and audio showed him go through the motions, declaring a 'good process' and that the on-field decision was a correct one. However, Hooper was under the impression that the on-field decision was 'goal'.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: A goal scored by Liverpool's Luis Díaz, given on the pitch as offside, is mistakenly confiemd by VAR who believe the onfield decision was a goal, during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The game was restarted with a free kick – prompting shock from Hooper as he realised his mistake. Liverpool went on to lose the game 1-0 in stoppage time (while down to nine men).

Jurgen Klopp said after the game that he'd witnessed "the most unfair circumstances and crazy decisions", referring to the 'offside' and both red cards for Liverpool. He'd later call for the game to be replayed once the VAR audio was out.

This will mark the second game Hooper has officiated since the hugely contentious match at Spurs, with his other Reds game this season the 2-0 win over Sheffield United in December.

While that game passed largely without incident, to say Hooper will be under the microscope for a high-stakes fixture like the semi-final second leg is an understatement, with many fans reacting negatively to his appointment online.

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