English Premier League

Angry Premier League referees boss Howard Webb summons all refferees over weekend VAR scam

Howard Webb, the Premier League’s referees boss, has summoned all referees in response to the weekend VAR shambles.

After a bad weekend in which Premier League officials made some slightly incorrect decisions, their boss, Howard Webb, is taking a hard line with them.

John Brooks, the video assistant referee whose mistake led to Brighton’s goal being wrongly called offside, was pulled from the Merseyside derby on Monday and the match between Arsenal and Manchester City on Wednesday.

Former Premier League referee and current PGMOL boss Rob Webb has already invited all professional football officials to a session at Stockley Park on Tuesday to address what went wrong over the weekend.

Andre Marriner was called in to substitute Brooks for the Merseyside derby, while David Coote will serve as the video assistant referee for Arsenal’s championship showdown with City.

Ivan Toney’s equalizer for Brentford should have been flagged for offside, as it cost Mikel Arteta’s top-of-the-table Gunners two valuable points in the championship fight.

Noordegard goal on Arsenal blunder
Angry Premier League referees boss Howard Webb summons all refferees over weekend VAR scam 10

VAR Lee Mason employed analytics to assess a probable offside on Ethan Pinnock in the buildup to the goal, then dismissed the Brentford center back. However, he failed to make a comparable check on Christian Norgaard, who was definitely offside according to TV replays.

Brooks made a mistake when he put the VAR offside lines on the wrong Crystal Palace defender, which meant that Brighton’s Pervis Estupinan’s goal was taken away.

Conor Gallagher’s effort was definitely stopped by Tomas Soucek, but referee Craig Pawson waved play on when Chelsea appealed for a penalty after Tomas Soucek obviously obstructed the shot. It was a weekend to remember for the referees.

This judgment, however, is discretionary, and the VAR did not overturn Pawson. This is not usually deemed an error, but the other two are clearly incorrect. The disputes are a big blow for Webb, who was hired at the end of last year as the PGMOL’s chief officiating officer.

Craig Pawson on Chelsea game
Angry Premier League referees boss Howard Webb summons all refferees over weekend VAR scam 11

This has led to Tuesday’s summit conference. The authorities meet every two weeks, but after a particularly humiliating weekend, Webb moved the meeting ahead in an attempt to find explanations for what went wrong.

Brooks’s departure was confirmed by the PGMOL on Monday, just hours before he was due to start work at Stockley Park. More and more people want Mason taken off the list of people who will work next weekend, which will come out on Tuesday.

Mason has stopped Brighton from scoring before. In February 2021, he disallowed Lewis Dunk’s free kick after letting them take it quickly and giving them the goal at first, only to change his mind later.

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