Last night, audio pertaining to the reasoning behind Virgil van Dijk’s dismissal during Liverpool’s victory over Newcastle United was made public.
After fouling Aleksander Isak on the edge of the penalty area during the first half of Jurgen Klopp’s team’s 2-1 victory at St. James’ Park, the Reds captain was controversially sent off.
Van Dijk was shocked by referee John Brooks’ decision to dismiss him, even though Stuart Attwell used VAR to review and clear the incident.
The Liverpool No. 4 missed the 3-0 victory over Aston Villa while serving his one-game suspension for his challenge at the weekend. However, after being charged with an FA violation, his punishment may be increased to two games.
On Sky Sports’ “Match Officials: Mic’d Up,” hosted by Michael Owen and starring Howard Webb, insight into how the match officials came to the decision to dismiss Van Dijk was presented. Six problematic calls from the current campaign were clarified throughout the show.
Attwell started the discussion on VAR by referring to Van Dijk and saying: “APP (Attacking Possession Phase). perhaps offside. Possible DOGSO (refusing a blatant opportunity to score a goal).
This is followed by the comment from referee Brooks: “It’s outside [the box], outside, outside. It’s a red card, too. Red card for through and through the opponent.
The conversation between Attwell and Brooks moves on to the following section: Delay, delay, VAR. Just making sure, mate.
No, says Brooks. He enters via the person. He enters through the man and plays the ball through the man.
OK, could you shift it? Please provide another perspective on point of contact. Okay, it’s obviously a foul. Stuart here, and I’m pleased with the foul, Brooksy. Just wait while I check the sanction and APP. In such case, I’m content to say, “Freeze it there, freeze it there.” The ball will now roll across his front, I guess. The attacker has position if the moving challenge is not present. It’s okay that he is advancing immediately into the penalty area.
Then, Brooks can be heard addressing Van Dijk directly and saying, “They will check [the decision].” And instead, he is entering. They will check again and again. Simply wait! If I feel you must go right away, I will let you know. Given that they just examined the location, it is obviously a foul. Don’t act foolishly. Unless Isak is offside, you will be dismissed. It is incredibly close.
The Dutch international is given the following parting words by Brooks after VAR affirms they are content to uphold the on-field decision: “Free-kick. Go, go! Go now. No offside, indeed.
Sharing his take on why Brooks was right to brandish a red card, Webb told Owen: “We think it is a good communication of a foul by John Brooks and we see in the end Van Dijk does play the ball but, to get there, he clearly kicks through the foot of Isak and it denies a goalscoring opportunity.
He is close to the goal, will be able to control the ball easily, and there are no defenders covering him. We are aware that the orientation is toward the objective, of course. This is a DOGSO.
“Van Dijk is not covered by the fact that, if that incident had occurred in the penalty area, a challenge for the ball or an effort to play the ball would have resulted in a yellow card. Given that it occurred outside of the penalty area, DOGSO must still receive a red card.
Even if a defender is attempting to play the ball when that occurs beyond the penalty area, as van Dijk did, the fact that he committed a foul necessitates that he be dismissed in this case. It’s a pretty obvious problem.