Belfast Telegraph

I was misguided to ask for TV help in Liverpool v Tottenham clash, says ref Moss

By Carl Markham

Referee Jon Moss has admitted that asking the fourth official if he had seen a crucial moment on "TV" in Sunday's Liverpool v Tottenham game was "misguided" - but says the correct decision was still made.

With the game entering its final minutes and the score 1-1, a thrilling Premier League encounter became mired in controversy when Moss gave Spurs a penalty for a foul on Harry Kane by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius.

The England and Spurs striker was clearly in an offside position when the ball was passed, but Reds defender Dejan Lovren inadvertently played him on by getting a faint touch when he tried to hack clear. Kane was then upended by Karius, although many Reds fans and players believe there was little contact.

Moss was sure it was a foul, but seemed to have doubts about whether Kane was onside or not.

He then discussed it with his linesman Eddie Smart and their conversation was picked up by a pitch-side microphone.

In their exchange, Smart is heard twice asking if Lovren touched the ball, as that would be a "deliberate action" and make Kane onside.

Moss twice tells Smart he does not know if Lovren touched it or not and is heard asking fourth official Martin Atkinson, via his headset, if he "got anything from TV", only to almost immediately say "I'm giving the penalty" and point to the spot.

This prompted many observers to wonder if this decision was effectively awarded by video review despite the Premier League not yet using the system.

That, however, has now been denied by the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMO), the body set up to provide, represent and train officials when they went professional in 2001.

In a statement, a PGMO spokesman explained Moss was in a "good position" to see that a Liverpool player had touched the ball before it reached Kane but "given the speed of the attack" was uncertain of who it was.

Smart, the spokesman said, saw Kane was offside so "correctly sought clarification" on whether Lovren had touched it.

"His question created some confusion when Eddie asked if 'Lovren' had touched the ball," the spokesman said. "Moss knew a Liverpool player had touched the ball but not that it was Lovren. He then asked a question to fourth official Martin Atkinson and acknowledges that referencing 'TV' was misguided. Atkinson did not reply, so had no involvement in the decision."

Kane's penalty was saved by Karius, only for Mohamed Salah to score what looked like an added-time winner for Liverpool and Kane to then get a second chance from the spot which he converted to give Spurs a 2-2 draw.

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