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COOTE OUT Controversial official taken off VAR role for Liverpool's next match as Gary Neville questions the move

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Virgil Van Dijk is also facing a long spell on the sidelines (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

Virgil Van Dijk is also facing a long spell on the sidelines (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

PA

Virgil Van Dijk is also facing a long spell on the sidelines (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

David Coote has been replaced as VAR official for Sunday's Premier League game between Liverpool and Leicester, after his controversial role in last month's Merseyside derby.

Liverpool fans were enraged by VAR official Coote's decisions in the game against Everton after he failed to send off Jordan Pickford following a challenge that resulted in Virgil van Dijk suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Coote then oversaw the VAR decision that ruled out Jordan Henderson's last minute winner, with a tight off-side decision against Sadio Mane infuriating Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Coote is reported to have received threats after those incidents, so his appointment to take charge of the VAR decision for the Leicester game on Sunday raised a few eyebrows.

Now it has been confirmed that the official has been removed for what the referee chiefs at the PGMOL have described as 'operational reasons', with Andre Marriner replacing him in the VAR seat.

The decision has sparked suggestions that Coote's controversial role in the Merseyside derby is the reason for his removal, with Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville questioning the decision as he tweeted:

Coote will now be referee for Manchester United's home game against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, with questionings lingering over whether he will work on Liverpool games in the future.

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