Premier league referee, Mike Dean will not officiate in the Premier League this weekend after receiving abuse and death threats following controversial red cards given to Southampton’s Jan Bednarek and West Ham’s Tomas Soucek last week.
The 52-year-old was criticised for sending off West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek for violent conduct after he appeared to accidentally strike Aleksandar Mitrovic in the Hammers’ 0-0 draw at Fulham on Saturday.
Both decisions have been overturned on appeal with Soucek now available for West Ham’s FA Cup away trip to Manchester United on Tuesday evening as well as being available for the Premier League matches against Sheffield United and Tottenham.
In both cases Dean gave a red card after being advised to view the incident on the pitchside monitor by the video assistant referee (VAR).
Dean also says his family has also been targeted with social media abuse.
One of the players he gave a red card, Soucek tweeted his support for Dean on Monday night, saying:
“Whatever decisions are made on the pitch should stay on the pitch.
“I don’t like hearing about it interfering with personal life and I send Mike Dean and his family my support. There is no place for abuse of any kind. It is in the past and I’m now focused on the rest of the season.”
Dean may return to Premier League action the following weekend or work alongside Lee Mason again as officials generally work in groups.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “It is inexcusable that Mike Dean and his family have received online abuse, including death threats, as a result of doing his job officiating at a Premier League match.
“It is completely unacceptable that we are seeing abusive behaviour aimed at players, managers and match officials regularly on social media platforms.
“Mike and his family have our full support in reporting this to the police. This once again highlights the need for greater proactive intervention from social media companies to stop online abuse and identify offenders.”