Referee Jon Moss was “misguided” when he asked fourth official Martin Atkinson if he had “anything from TV” before awarding Spurs their first penalty on Sunday.
That’s the view of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), who have publicly commented on the situation after Moss awarded Mauricio Pochettino’s side two spot kicks during the 2-2 draw.
Moss was heard on camera requesting information from the fourth official via microphone and earpiece as he sought clarification over whether his call to award Spurs a penalty for a foul on Harry Kane was the right decision.
“I’ve got no idea whether Lovren’s touched the ball to be honest with you. Martin have you got anything on TV? I’m giving the penalty.” Moss was heard saying.
And his uncertainty over the situation and how he could clear it up has been commented on by the PGMOL.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Atkinson did not view a television monitor and did not relay any information to the on-field officials.” PGMOL have said in a statement.
“Jon Moss was in a good position to see that a Liverpool player deliberately played the ball before it fell to Harry Kane in the penalty area. he then correctly judged that Kane was fouled by Lorius Karius.
“However, given the speed of the attack he was uncertain of the identity of the Liverpool player who kicked the ball. Eddie Smart, having identified that Kane was in an offside position, correctly sought clarification on whether Dejan Lovren had deliberately played the ball.
“His question created some momentary confusion when Eddie asked if Lovren had touched the ball. Moss knew a Liverpool player had touched the ball but not that it was Lovren.
“He then asked a question to his fourth official, Martin Atkinson and acknowledges that referencing ‘TV’ was misguided. Atkinson did not reply to the question and so had no involvement in the decision.
“Having properly reflected on the questions asked, Jon knew that a Liverpool player, now identified as Lovren, had played the ball and that no offside offence had occurred. He then awarded the penalty. For the avoidance of doubt, Atkinson did not view a television monitor and did not relay any information to the on-field officials.
“In real time this was a difficult series of decisions which the match officials judged correctly in recognising that Kane was not offside, as Lovren had deliberately played the ball, and he was fouled for the award of the penalty kick.
“The interpretation of ‘deliberately’ kicking a ball considers whether a player has intentionally tried to kick a ball – it does not consider whether the ball ends up where a player may have wanted to kick it.” it concluded.
Kane went down after contact with Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius late on during the pulsating match and Moss sought advice over whether the England international was offside.
However, VAR was not being used during this match – which is unfortunate for Jurgen Klopp and his team – and Moss should not have been asking for any input from that medium.
Many Liverpool supporters are angered about both penalty decisions, which ultimately cost the Reds the win.