Liverpool fans left fuming as David Coote is appointed VAR for weekend clash with Leicester for the first time since failing to send off Jordan Pickford for horror lunge on Virgil van Dijk in last month’s controversial Merseyside derby
- David Coote has been appointed VAR for Liverpool’s clash with Leicester
- Coote was last on VAR duties for Liverpool in their 2-2 draw with Everton
- He failed to send off Jordan Pickford for his shocking lunge on Virgil van Dijk
- Reds supporters are furious that Coote is back officiating just a month later
Coote was the video assistant referee who did not check for a red card for the Everton goalkeeper’s challenge that left van Dijk needing season-ending surgery on a knee ligament injury after forgetting that the rules stated he could review the incident despite the offside in the build-up.
Sportsmail reported last month that Coote thought the offside — which he checked forensically — nullified what happened afterwards.
David Coote returns to VAR duties this weekend for Liverpool’s clash with Leicester
He was the VAR that did not check for a red card for Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby
The Everton goalkeeper went unpunished for a tackle that ended Virgil van Dijk’s season
COOTE THIS SEASON
Matchweek 1 – VAR for Fulham-Arsenal
Matchweek 2 – Ref for Southampton-Tottenham
Matchweek 3 – VAR for City-Leicester
Matchweek 4 – Ref for Newcastle-Burnley, fourth official for Villa-Liv
Matchweek 5 – VAR for Everton-Liv, Ref for Leeds-Wolves
Matchweek 6 – Fourth official for WHU-City
Matchweek 7 – Ref for Burnley-Chelsea
Matchweek 8 – VAR for Arsenal-Aston Villa
Matchweek 9 – VAR for Liverpool-Leicester
And his appointment for the visit of table-topping Leicester to Anfield this weekend has left Liverpool fans seething on social media.
One wrote: ‘Is this some sort of sick joke?’, while another mimicked Jose Mourinho’s infamous phrase: ‘If I speak, I’m in big trouble’.
One fan tweeted: ‘I can’t believe it. After the Everton match debacle I thought PL would know better’, while another said: ‘There is literally zero accountability for terrible decisions’.
Coote was subsequently dropped from refereeing or VAR duty for the following weekend’s Premier League fixtures
It was the first round of fixtures this season in which Coote had not refereed or been the VAR.
He was instead the fourth official for West Ham against Manchester City.
Coote returned to officiate Chelsea’s victory at Burnley a week later before making his return as VAR for Arsenal’s 3-0 home defeat by Aston Villa earlier this month before the international break.
Liverpool were angered in the aftermath of the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park by the failure to punish Pickford.
They called for clarification over the incident and why they were initially told the offence had been missed.
England goalkeeper Pickford inflicted a season-ending knee injury on Van Dijk in the first half.
Sources at Anfield claimed the Premier League were more interested in briefing their version of events – which they also allege kept changing – than talking with the club.
Professional Game Match Officials Limited boss Mike Riley spoke to the club, claiming that the match officials did review the challenge and deemed it not to be a red.
Liverpool were fuming the incident went unpunished by Michael Oliver (left) and David Coote
Sportsmail revealed last month that Coote’s performance in the Merseyside derby is to be scrutinised at the next referees half-term summit.
The incident is almost certain to be one of a number reviewed by the PGMOL, the body that oversees refereeing in English professional football, at an annual meeting that takes place half way through the season.
Part of the discussion, which will be held via video conference call due to social distancing regulations, focuses on dissecting certain decisions that have taken place during the season, particularly ones that have caused confusion.
Indeed, last weekend’s contentious ruling at Goodison Park is highly likely to be selected as an example during the meeting scheduled for the early part of next year.
Liverpool defender van Dijk was forced to undergo season-ending surgery on his ACL injury