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Lee Mason Resigns as Premier League VAR after being axed for costly Arsenal blunder

Lee Mason Resigns as Premier League VAR after being axed for costly Arsenal blunder

Lee Mason, the Premier League’s first dedicated Video Assistant Referee, has resigned from his role following a costly blunder in a match between Arsenal and Brentford.

Mason, who had spent 15 years as a top-level official and retired from that role in the summer of 2021, failed to spot that Brentford’s Ivan Toney was offside in the build-up to his equalising goal, which resulted in Arsenal missing out on a crucial win.

The mistake led to anger from Arsenal and Mason was subsequently stood down by the Professional Game Match Officials Board. The organisation has now confirmed that Mason has resigned from his job altogether.

A statement from the PGMOL reads: “PGMOL can confirm that Video Assistant Referee Lee Mason has departed the organisation by mutual consent.

“Lee was a Premier League referee for 15 years and oversaw 287 top-flight matches during that time, with his last coming during the closing stages of the 2021/22 season. His full career in the professional game saw the 51-year-old officiate in over 500 fixtures after he progressed to the Football League in 1998.

“We would like to thank Lee for his dedicated service to the professional game and wish him all the best for the future.”

After Mason’s mistake during the Arsenal game, the Premier League expressed their dissatisfaction with his performance. They stated that they had asked the PGMOL to “review and clarify” several of Mason’s decisions.

“The Premier League sets high standards and is disappointed that PGMOL fell below those expectations last weekend. As a result, the Premier League requested that PGMOL review and explain a number of incidents from the recent match round,” a statement read.

“Following discussions with PGMOL, and yesterday’s Select Group One review meeting, we support PGMOL’s views on addressing these issues to improve performances going forward.”

During his time as a Premier League referee, Mason oversaw 257 matches. However, he was called to Stockley Park by Howard Webb, the head of PGMOL, due to a series of mistakes made by match officials in recent weeks.

Although Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, accepted Webb’s apology for Mason’s mistake, he refused to apologize for his own remarks criticizing the quality of refereeing. Recently, Arteta made another comment criticizing Mason.

Arteta said: “There was huge anger and disappointment because that wasn’t human error, that was a big misunderstanding of your job. That is not acceptable, I’m sorry. It cost Arsenal two points, we’ll have to find those two points somewhere else in the league.”

Lee Mason Resigns as Premier League VAR after being axed for costly Arsenal blunder

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