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Pickford Escapes Retroactive Punishment for Season-Ending Van Dijk Tackle

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After previously informing the club VAR officials had not reviewed the incident at the time, the FA now say it was.

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Virgil van Dijk is expected to miss the entirety of the 2020-21 season following an out of control lunge by Everton’s Jordan Pickford that saw the goalkeeper fly into the Liverpool defender at knee height, rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

With Liverpool initially being told by match officials that the video assistant referee had not reviewed the incident at the time as they had been focused on judging an offside call that happened moments earlier, retroactive punishment had been sought.

However, today the FA have informed the club that as the incident was in fact seen by match officials—and reviewed by VAR—at the time and judged not to be a red card worthy foul, retroactive punishment for Pickford is not possible.

Liverpool have now asked for clarification on the matter given they had been informed initially that the incident was not reviewed at the time only for Professional Game and Match Officials director Mike Riley to later claim that the incident had been.

With Joël Matip also picking up a minor knock on Saturday, the Reds will likely be down to just one fit senior centre half when they face Ajax on Wednesday, which will mean Fabinho partnering with Joe Gomez at the back.