John Brooks dropped as VAR for Merseyside derby and Arsenal vs Man City after huge error in Brighton's draw with Crystal Palace

John Brooks referee VAR
Premier League referee John Brooks has been dropped as VAR for the Merseyside derby and Arsenal vs Manchester City following high-profile errors.
  • Wrong call made in Crystal Palace vs Brighton
  • Arsenal & Chelsea also get questionable decisions
  • Changes made in team at Stockley Park

WHAT HAPPENED? The experienced match official had been due to offer technical assistance during two heavyweight clashes in the English top-flight this week, starting with a meeting between old adversaries Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on Monday.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It has, however, been revealed that Brooks will be stepping down from duty there, as well as missing out on a role in proceedings when title hopefuls Arsenal and City face off at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday. Brooks has been replaced by Andre Marriner and David Coote in the two respective fixtures.

AND WHAT'S MORE: That decision has been taken after Brooks was involved in a controversial incident during Brighton’s 1-1 draw with arch-rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday. Pervis Estupinan saw a goal disallowed in that contest after offside lines were drawn against the wrong player – with James Tomkins picked out as the last man instead of Eagles team-mate Marc Guehi.

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Pervis Estupinan Brighton 2022-23

Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2022-23

WHAT NEXT? Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body responsible for match officials across English football fixtures, has taken a dim view of recent performances from VAR operators – as human error also resulted in wrong calls being made in Arsenal’s home date with Brentford and Chelsea’s trip to West Ham – with chief refereeing officer Howard Webb vowing to take decisive action after contacting the clubs impacted by costly calls.