Referee John Brooks is REMOVED from VAR duty for tonight’s Merseyside derby AND Arsenal’s title clash with Man City on Wednesday – as Howard Webb acts after weekend of errors
- VAR John Brooks came under fire for a blunder in Brighton’s draw with Palace
- The official denied Brighton a goal after incorrectly drawing offside lines
- He has been taken off VAR duty for Merseyside Derby and Arsenal vs Man City
Referee John Brooks has been taken off VAR duty for tonight’s Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton and Wednesday’s title clash between Arsenal and Man City after his horror gaffe to disallow Brighton a goal against Crystal Palace.
On a weekend where VAR came under huge fire, Brooks chalked off Pervis Estupinan’s strike against the Eagles on Saturday – which would have been the opening goal – after drawing the offside line from the wrong defender.
The line was drawn from James Tomkins rather than last man Marc Guehi, who was standing behind him. The goal would have stood had it been correctly drawn from Guehi instead.
The match between Brighton and Palace finished 1-1, with the Seagulls going on to open the scoring through Solly March before Tomkins levelled for Palace.
Andre Marriner and David Coote will assume VAR duties in his place for Liverpool v Everton tonight and for Arsenal’s game against Man City on Wednesday evening, respectively.
Referee John Brooks has been removed from VAR duty for tonight’s Merseyside Derby
Brooks drew the line from the wrong defender as he incorrectly ruled out Pervis Estupinan’s early strike
The PGMOL confirmed the news in a statement, saying: ‘John Brooks has been replaced as VAR for both Liverpool v Everton tonight and Arsenal v Manchester City on Wednesday evening.
‘Andre Marriner and David Coote will assume VAR duties in his place tonight and Wednesday respectively. Due to a Monday evening fixture, appointments for the weekend’s matches will be announced tomorrow.’
Brighton said they had received an apology from the PGMOL for the error.
‘As was confirmed to the club by PGMOL last night, a serious error was made in disallowing Pervis Estupinan’s goal at Crystal Palace yesterday afternoon,’ the club said.
It came on a horror weekend for VAR that saw Lee Mason fail to draw offside lines for Brentford’s equaliser against Arsenal
‘The lines drawn in the VAR room to determine whether Pervis was in an offside position were drawn incorrectly, and the goal should have stood.
‘While hugely disappointed by the error, the club has accepted PGMOL’s apology and will not be making any further comment.’
Brooks was also set to be on VAR duty for Arsenal’s pivotal game against Manchester City on Wednesday. Gunners fans will have been concerned by the initial news after they were victims of another howler on the same weekend.
Video official Lee Mason was widely scolded after he failed to draw offside lines for Brentford’s equaliser against Arsenal.
Howard Webb has acted after calling officials to an emergency meeting after two VAR howlers on Saturday
Christian Norgaard was in an offside position when he crossed for Ivan Toney and the goal would have been ruled out if the VAR lines had been drawn.
Sportsmail reported on Sunday that refereeing chief Howard Webb had called an emergency meeting and was considering axing both Brooks and Mason following the high-profile mistakes.
The new chief was forced to contact the Gunners and European hopefuls Brighton to ‘acknowledge significant errors in the VAR process’, according to refs’ body PGMOL.
Their statement added: ‘Both incidents, which were due to human error and related to the analysis of offside situations, are being thoroughly reviewed.’
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