Premier League referees say Jota’s red card was the wrong decision

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
06/10/2023
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Diogo Jota red card the incorrect decision, say Premier League refs panel

Liverpool’s Diogo Jota should not have been sent off against Tottenham last weekend, say a panel of Premier League referees. 

News Insights

  • The panel found that the second yellow against Jota was incorrect.
  • The five-member panel voted 3-2 against the second yellow card being worthy of a sending off.
  • Liverpool are unable to appeal Jota’s suspension.
  • Jota will miss Liverpool’s next Premier League match against Brighton.

The controversy surrounding last weeks’ top-four clash between Liverpool and Tottenham continues to grow bigger and bigger this week. It has now been reported by ESPN that a panel of Premier League referees have reviewed Diogo Jota’s sending off in that match and believe it was the wrong decision. 

The 26-year-old received two yellows in quick succession against Tottenham. The panel found that the second yellow against Jota was incorrect. This Premier League panel’s ruling will have no effect on Jota’s suspension. The Portuguese attacker is still suspended and will miss Liverpool’s Premier League Matchweek 8 match against Brighton.  

Another error going against Liverpool

Things have gone from bad to worse for Liverpool fans regarding their match against Tottenham. On its face, this match seemed to be poorly refereed. Now, with almost a week of reflection behind us, Tottenham versus Liverpool may be one of the worst refereed Premier League matches of all time. 

To recap, Curtis Jones was sent off in the 26th minute for a tackle on Tottenham’s Yves Bissouma. This was seen as the correct decision by the Premier League panel and by most neutral outside observers. After the Jones tackle is when things got really crazy. The game was about to be turned on its head. 

Luis Diaz scored what looked to be a go-ahead goal for Liverpool in the 34th minute, but the offside flag went up and the goal was ruled off. We now know. thanks to audio released by the PGMOL, that the goal was incorrectly ruled off by a VAR official who mistakenly believed the on-pitch decision was a goal. 

When the VAR official told the on-pitch referee “check complete”, the on-pitch referee took that as confirmation of the offside call, so no goal was awarded. 

Finally, we get to Diogo Jota’s red card. The 26-year-old attacker was sent off following two yellow card offences against Spurs defender Destiny Udogie in less than two minutes. This completely changed the flow of the game. 

The Premier League's Independent Key Match Incidents Panel now say “the decision as incorrect as [the Panel] felt it did not meet the threshold for a yellow card." The five-member panel voted 3-2 against the second yellow card being worthy of a sending-off. 

Klopp calls for match replay

Prior to this Premier League panel decision coming out, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had publicly called for a match replay. The former Dortmund boss’ reasoning related to the Diaz decision, but the Jota news is only surely going to make him more furious about this entire situation. 

Of the Jota red card, Klopp said in his post-match comments that “Diogo Jota got two yellow cards for not touching a player once, that's unprecedented as well I would say.

Despite his defiance at the time, Klopp has recently taken a more subdued tone. He clarified that his comments about the replay should be applied to future events and that the most important thing now is for the FA and PGMOL to develop a system to avoid incidents like the Diaz disallowed goal in the future.

Jota still suspended

Because Jota’s sending off came courtesy of two yellow cards and not a straight red, Liverpool are unable to appeal his suspension. This new ruling from the Premier League's Independent Key Match Incidents Panel does not change this fact. 

Jota is still suspended for one match. The 26-year-old Portuguese forward will miss Liverpool’s next Premier League match against Brighton. 

Every point matters in the Premier League, so potentially being robbed of points by the refs no doubt hurts Liverpool. On the bright side for Liverpool fans, the club is still in the top four and most betting sites still have them as big favourites to qualify for the Champions League.