Lee Mason has not been selected as a video assistant referee for this weekend’s Premier League fixtures. Mason has been under pressure since he failed to correctly check for offside during Brentford’s tying goal against Arsenal on Saturday.
Checking potential offside in the buildup for goals is one of the key job attributes of a VAR official.
Wrongly allowed goal could impact EPL title race
Replays showed Christian Nørgaard was in an offside position when the ball was played to him ahead of Brentford’s goal. The midfielder then crossed the ball to Ivan Toney, who put the ball into the net. Mason apparently reviewed the goal, but somehow never drew the offside lines on the screen to check if Norgaard was offside.
Allowing Toney’s goal could very well have major implications on the Premier League title race. Because of the draw, league leaders Arsenal are now just three points ahead of Manchester City in the table. A victory for the Gunners would have extended their lead atop the standings to five points. Arsenal and City face off on Wednesday. The reigning English champions could leapfrog the Gunners with a win on the day.
Lee Mason gets second weekend off in Premier League due to errors
This will the second time this season that Mason will be given a weekend off for inept decisions. The 51-year-old former match referee had a hand in wrongly disallowing an Arsenal goal against Manchester United in September. One day prior to chalking off the Martinelli goal, Mason made VAR mistakes in a Newcastle-Crystal Palace matchup as well.
John Brooks, another VAR official for the Premier League, also earned time off because of similar issues at a Brighton game. The referee schedule had Brooks in the VAR chair for the Merseyside Derby on Monday and the Arsenal-City game on Wednesday. However, the Premier League replaced him for both games.
Chief refereeing official in England Howard Webb had to issue apologies to both Arsenal and Brighton earlier this week. Webb also reportedly conducted a meeting on Tuesday with his VAR officials to discuss recent issues.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Action Plus
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