David Coote has been replaced as the VAR official for Liverpool’s clash with Leicester on Sunday following a backlash from Reds supporters on social media.
Coote was originally appointed to oversee the fixture from Stockley Park this weekend, with Chris Kavanagh the designated on-field official at Anfield.
However, the referee has since been taken off VAR duty for the match between Jurgen Klopp’s champions and the current Premier League leaders, with Andre Marriner replacing him.
He will instead take on-field charge of Manchester United’s meeting with West Brom at Old Trafford this Saturday.
The Premier League have not provided an official explanation for Coote’s change in schedule, although Liverpool fans’ protests on social media could very well have played a part.
The Anfield faithful were left fuming with Coote’s initial appointment as VAR official against Leicester after he controversially chose not to send Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford off for his heavy challenge on Virgil van Dijk in last month’s Merseyside derby.
Pickford somehow avoided punishment despite colliding recklessly with Van Dijk, who is set to miss the majority of the season as a result of the ACL injury he sustained from the challenge.
Coote was overseeing proceedings from Stockley Park on the day, but he decided against intervening to send the Toffees shot-stopper off and award Liverpool a penalty on Merseyside.
After the game, which ended as a 2-2 draw, Liverpool wrote to the Premier League to formally ask why Pickford’s dangerous challenge was not punished at Goodison Park.
And when news emerged of Coote’s appointment as VAR for this weekend’s showdown with Leicester, Reds fans couldn’t contain their anger on Twitter.
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One wrote: “Is this some sort of sick joke?”
Another said: “David Coote is our VAR referee for our next match vs Leicester City. I can't believe it. After the Everton match debacle I thought PL would know better”.
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