Lee Mason has reportedly been withdrawn from duties for this weekend’s Premier League clash between Liverpool and Sheffield United.
The referee was slated to take up the role of fourth official at Bramall Lane, but has now been taken off the match, as reported by the Independent.
This decision comes just 24 hours after Mason was branded a “f****** disgrace” by Brighton players [via Sportsmail] after ruling out a goal that seemingly should have stood.
Speaking after his side’s 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion, would-be goal-scorer Lewis Dunk said of the decision: “It’s embarrassing, horrendous decision. I asked the ref if I could take the free-kick, he blew his whistle and I took it. Just because you have so much pressure from the bench and the players he disallows the goal.
“VAR don’t know what he said. Why doesn’t he come speak to the press like me? Why doesn’t he come and say his point? Never. They hide behind their bubble… that’s fine, isn’t it? I don’t think he knew what he was doing.
“It went in the back of the net and he give the goal. Why did he give the goal? Because he knew he said go. I don’t know how VAR is getting involved because he said the words. You can go back and look at the video if you want.“
Although not confirmed or even official, the decision to remove Mason from the Liverpool game has likely been made to protect him, as he’s already under fire from supporters and pundits.
Jurgen Klopp isn’t shy of criticising match officials, and after the harsh words from Dunk, the last thing the Premier League needs is for a referee to conjure up two controversial incidents within 48 hours.