Premier League VAR Lee Mason will not be on normal duties in upcoming EPL matches. This weekend, Mason drew attention due to a pair of controversial decisions from two games. Recently, the 50-year-old former referee retired from on-pitch duties to transition to a VAR official.
Both of Mason’s recent questionable decisions disallowed goals that were originally given. The first incident involved a supposed foul on Crystal Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita just as the ball went into the back of the net. Replays clearly showed Palace defender Tyrick Mitchell, the player who scored the own-goal, pushed Newcastle midfielder Joe Willock into Guaita. Despite this, Mason advised referee Michael Salisbury to take a second look at the incident.
Not only was Mason’s involvement in the play unnecessary, but replays shown on screen were focusing on the wrong angle. There was a clear view of the push by Mitchell that was barely seen by Salisbury.
Mason was then again on VAR duties the following day as Manchester United hosted Arsenal. The Gunners were seemingly ahead early in the match thanks to a goal from Gabriel Martinelli. Nevertheless, Mason advised referee Paul Tierney to review a possible foul by Martin Ødegaard leading up to the goal. Tierney went on to disallow the opening goal of the game. The foul in question occurred within 10 yards of where Tierney was on the pitch.
Lee Mason suspended from VAR spot
These two controversial calls involving Mason were not the only VAR headlines of the weekend. West Ham also had a goal chalked off in the 90th minute of the match to deny them a point at Chelsea. VAR official Jarred Gillett directed referee Andrew Madley to take a look at a possible foul on the Blues keeper. Replays of this incident showed that the contact was fairly tame.
Despite the Premier League condemning the call in the Chelsea match, as well as the Newcastle-Crystal Palace incident, both Gillett and Madley will be on the pitch to referee matches at the weekend.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PRiME Media Images
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