Lee Mason has not been selected as a VAR for a Premier League game this weekend after a controversial goal disallowed for Newcastle on Saturday.
Mason, who became a dedicated VAR at the start of last season after retiring as a referee, was in the booth for Newcastle’s game against Crystal Palace on Saturday where the home side had a goal ruled out.
On-field referee Michael Salisbury initially allowed an own goal from Tyrick Mitchell at Newcastle but, after a review recommended by Mason, gave a foul against Joe Willock who had collided with Palace keeper Vicente Guaita .
Replays suggested the collision was caused by Mitchell pushing Willock in the back and the goal should have stood.
The Premier League have reportedly asked the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) group responsible for the referees for further information on the incident, as well as the decision to disallow Maxwel Cornet’s late goal for West Ham at Chelsea on the same afternoon.
Andrew Madley, the referee who disallowed the goal at Stamford Bridge, has been selected to referee Liverpool’s game against Wolves on Saturday, while VAR of the game Jarred Gillett will be the referee in the Leicester vs Aston Villa clash the same day. .
Gillett as VAR had advised Madley to look at goal again, after spotting a possible foul by West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen on Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy in the build-up.
Hammers boss David Moyes called the decision to disallow the goal “scandalous”.
Mason was the VAR involved in two controversial red card incidents in January and February last year, with Mike Dean the referee on the pitch on both occasions. Mason did not officiate a game the weekend following the second of those incidents, but was listed as the fourth official.
He was involved in another controversial incident later in February 2021. Brighton defender Lewis Dunk scored a quick free-kick in the first half of a Premier League game at West Brom, which Mason denied before changing sides. notice and assign the goal.
However, after VAR checked the goal, Mason had to whistle again to confirm he had been sent off, prompting angry reactions from the Brighton players.
Dunk described the decision to rule out the goal as “horrendous” and claimed the referee lost control of the game, which the hosts won 1-0.
Salisbury will be the VAR for Southampton’s game against Brentford this weekend.
Former head of referees Keith Hackett believes officials have been ‘dried out’ due to a lack of leadership from PGMOL chief executive Mike Riley, who will step down at the end of the year to be replaced by Howard Webb.
Hackett told the PA news agency: “We’re in our fourth season of VAR and we’re not using it well.
“These officials don’t come to the Premier League without being good referees. In some ways they were made stupid this weekend by what happened. They must feel disappointed.
“They’ve been hung up to dry because there’s no leadership. There is no advice, there is no coaching.
“It ultimately depends on who is running the organization (Riley). The interaction between the referee and VAR is suspect.
“One of the reasons for that is that you have current referees who could referee on a Saturday and suddenly become VAR on a Sunday. I don’t think that’s conducive to good refereeing.
Hackett says PGMOL should create a panel of individuals whose sole job is to serve as VAR and called on them to operate as a team with a referee and his assistants to improve communication.
Hackett believes referees are ‘conditioned’ to follow VAR advice when asked to review a decision and adds: ‘They see the walk of (taking) the decision at the pitchside monitor as the walk of shame .”
Robert Jones, who officiated the Brentford game against Leeds which featured a red card for Whites boss Jesse Marsch, has been selected as the fourth official for Saturday’s game between Fulham and Chelsea and Sunday’s game between Palace and Manchester United .
Marsch was furious that Jones had awarded Brentford a penalty after reviewing a challenge from Luis Sinisterra on Ivan Toney, but no review was held after a challenge on Crysencio Summerville by Aaron Hickey.
David Coote, who was the VAR in the Brentford-Leeds match, will be the referee for the Fulham v Chelsea game.
Paul Tierney, who disallowed a goal for Arsenal against Manchester United on Sunday after VAR Mason spotted a foul on Christian Eriksen in the build-up, has three appointments this weekend.
He will be VAR at Manchester City against Tottenham on Saturday, fulfill the same role at West Ham against Newcastle on Sunday and is expected to be the fourth official for Leeds’ game against Nottingham Forest on Monday.
Lee Mason dropped as VAR for this weekend’s Premier League matches