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Premier League referee Mike Dean has requested not to be assigned a fixture this weekend after he and his family received death threats for errors he made in matches involving Southampton and West Ham in the last week.
Dean has come in for fierce criticism after dishing out red cards to West Ham star Tomas Soucek and Southampton defender Jan Bednarek.
Both red cards have subsequently been overturned following an appeal from their respective clubs and the dismissal of Soucek in Saturday’s 0-0 draw between Fulham and the Hammers has drawn particularly strong criticism from pundits and supporters alike.
However, that criticism overstepped the mark this weekend as Dean and his family were subjected to death threats.
Dean, 52, has reported the threats to the police and he has requested not to be assigned a Premier League fixture this weekend, though he will fulfill his duty of taking charge of the FA Cup clash between Leicester City and Brighton on Wednesday.
Lengthy VAR checks were conducted for both red cards and Dean looked aghast at having to send Bednarek off in the Saints’ 9-0 defeat against Manchester United, as the rules dictate that the defender must be shown a red if he’s shown not to have made a challenge for the ball.
However, Bednarek’s red has since been overturned as Martial was judged to have dived and Dean’s week got even worse when he showed Soucek a straight red deep into injury time at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
The Czech midfielder was being marked by Mitrovic from a West Ham free-kick and he raised his arms in order to move behind the Serbian striker. However, in doing so, Soucek mistakenly caught the striker in the face.
Dean was advised to watch the incident again from the pitchside monitor and despite pleas from Mitrovic not to send Soucek off, the midfielder was shown a straight red for violent conduct.