Liverpool: Ex-Fifa official demands major law change after Van Dijk claim

By Keith Hackett

12th Apr, 2022 | 12:34pm

Liverpool news: Ex-Fifa official demands major law change after what he's heard from Virgil van Dijk

Keith Hackett has admitted he agrees with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and wants assistant referees to stop delaying the offside flag.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed delaying the flag risks unnecessary injuries as play continues after a play receives the ball in an offside position.

As quoted by the Liverpool Echo last week (4 April) Van Dijk claimed he did not like the practice as it made his side look more vulnerable than they are.

The Reds were saved by a VAR offside call in their 2-2 draw with Man City on Sunday (10 April) as Raheem Sterling thought he had put his side 3-2 up.

“I have some sympathy with Van Dijk,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“I can understand his reasons because they play such a high line and he has to turn and run to put a challenge in which could result him in being sent off. I understand all of that context.

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“He has to operate within the laws of the game and the context of how, with VAR, it is now standard practice for the assistants to hold the flag.

“I don’t like it, I’m critical of it and I share his view because it’s an area of runs the risk of contact being made and injuries being sustained when it’s offside. I do sympathise with that view.

“It’s in there to cover for the error by the assistant who incorrectly flags for the offside and stops a goal from being scored.

“I can understand it but I have concerns with it because we are operating with the best assistant referees in the world so we were making sound judgements.

“It looks like it’s here to stay so he’s got to adapt to it and Liverpool have got to adapt to it.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has shredded ‘untrustworthy’ Liverpool owners FSG as the Government takes action.