‘What’s happening to our game?!’: Jamie Redknapp is left exasperated by Mike Dean’s decision to send off West Ham’s Tomas Soucek for ‘accidental elbow’ as he admits he fears for football after yet more VAR controversy
- Mike Dean gave West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek a red card against Fulham
- Dean showed the red after being told by Lee Mason to check pitchside monitors
- Dean and Mason were criticised by Southampton after sending off Jan Bednarek
- The Saints defender had his suspension overturned by the FA after an appeal
Jamie Redknapp has criticised officials Mike Dean and Lee Mason for the controversial decision to send off Tomas Soucek in West Ham’s 0-0 draw with Fulham.
The Czech midfielder was shown a straight red card in stoppage time after his elbow accidentally made contact with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic’s face.
Video Assistant Referee Mason directed Dean to look at the pitchside monitor as the challenge was not initially spotted, after which Dean gave Soucek his marching orders – with Soucek’s clenched fist a factor in the decision.
West Ham’s Tomas Soucek (centre) was shown a red card in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Fulham
The Czech midfielder’s elbow made contact with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic’s face
And pundit Jamie Redknapp fumed at the referee’s decision on Sky Sports after the match.
He said: ‘What’s happening to our game? We all love football but what is Mike Dean seeing there?
‘He [Soucek] is trying to get his arm out of the way and completely by accident he catches him [Mitrovic] with his elbow.
Soucek protested his innocence to referee Dean but received his marching orders nonetheless
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp criticised the decision, describing it as a ‘genuine worry’
‘You can see in his face there is completely no intention to hurt an opponent – the fact Mike Dean thinks that’s a red card is a genuine worry to me.
Fellow pundit Bobby Zamora added: ‘In slow motion it doesn’t look great but in real time you know exactly what’s going on.
‘He [Soucek] has actually looked away before! It’s the Mike Dean show once again and I’d like to think, like in the week, it will be overturned.’
Dean (third right) was questioned by angry Hammers coaching staff at the end of the match
West Ham manager David Moyes faces being without the influential midfielder for three games
Soucek took to Twitter after the game to apologise but said he felt the ‘duel was fair’
Taking to Twitter after the game, Soucek wrote: ‘I spoke with Aleksandar Mitrović in and after the game and he said to me that our duel was fair, I thank him for that. Unfortunately, the referee had different opinion.
‘Anyone who knows me knows i would never mean harm to another player. I am sorry for this moment in the otherwise great season. Really nice fair play moment from Aleksandar.’
Referee Dean and VAR Mason came under fire after Dean gave Southampton defender Jan Bednarek a straight red card for a foul in the Saints’ 9-0 defeat against Manchester United.
Bednarek made minimal contact with United striker Anthony Martial but was nonetheless sent off after Dean looked at the pitchside monitor, and the club succeeded in having the Pole’s suspension overturned.
As Sportsmail reported on Wednesday, Southampton were furious about decisions made by Dean and Mason in losses against Aston Villa and United and felt it was unwise for the pair to referee one of their games in the near future.
Journalists and fans took to Twitter at full-time to express their opinions on the Soucek red
Several former players, including Gary Lineker, Ian Wright and Jamie Carragher added their thoughts on the Soucek red card on social media after the game.
Match of the Day host Lineker said: ‘You have got to be kidding? That’s not a red card in a million years. So clearly accidental. A nonsense.’
Wright tweeted: ‘All about Mike Dean. Just how he likes it!’ followed by an angry emoji, while Jamie Carragher said: ‘What is going on! That’s not a deliberate elbow!!’
Michael Owen added: ‘Oh no…twice in a week. These monitors seem to somehow make decisions harder to work out,’ while former Bolton striker Kevin Davies tweeted: ‘Wow game has gone if that’s violent conduct, I got out at the right time!’
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