Sports

A giant leap into the unknown

The latest development in the VAR-gate scandal came from the Liverpool manager himself when he suggested the entire game should be replayed.

308886 jurgen 1 | FDI Việt Nam
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has suggested his team’s match against Tottenham should be replayed. — AFP/VNA Photo

Paul Kennedy

Regular readers of this column, and there are a couple I’m aware of, will know all about my undying love for a certain German football manager.

Jurgen Norbert Klopp is quite simply a God in my eyes. I hang off his every word and find myself nodding in agreement before he’s even spoken.

This week, however, not so much.

I’ve also no doubt that fans of rival teams probably detest Klopp, but I’d hope that deep down, they not only admire him, but admit he’s good for the game.

Lots has been written this week about the debacle from the match between Tottenham and Liverpool when a goal for the visitors was incorrectly disallowed.

We’ve had the apology, the statements, the debates and discussions. We’ve even heard the audio from the VAR headquarters which was described by British rock star and massive Manchester City supporter Liam Gallagher as “better than the moon landing commentary”.

Which I have to admit made me chuckle.

The latest development in VAR-gate came from the Liverpool manager himself when he suggested the entire game should be replayed.

Klopp said: “I can say immediately, and probably some people don’t want me to say it, not as the manager of Liverpool but much more as a football person, I think the only outcome should be a replay. That’s how it is. It probably will not happen.”

He’s right when he says the bit about it probably never happening, because it won’t, but I just feel playing the match again would take the Premier League, and indeed the whole world of professional football, down a dark and dangerous alley it may never be able to return from.

For a start, what would the logistics be? Remember at the point Luis Diaz thought he’s put his team ahead, Liverpool had been reduced to 10 men following the sending off of midfielder Curtis Jones.

So would a replay be 11 v 11? Tottenham fans wouldn’t be happy about that. And also in the second half, Liverpool’s Diogo Jota was sent off, leaving the visitors to play the last 20 minutes with just nine players, swinging the advantage to Tottenham, which could never be recreated in the event of a replay.

And then you must consider the question when would the game be played? Let’s say they pick a date when Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah, or Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, are injured. That would mean more massive questions to answer.

Or what if the match is replayed in after the January transfer window and both teams have new players. Should they be allowed to play?

Replaying the game would be opening a can of worms that has to remain firmly closed.

So I say no. Move on. Liverpool, get over it.

And to keep former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher happy, I’d say to replay this match would be one small step for Liverpool, and a giant leap into the unknown for football.

Theo Vietnamnews