Premier League Referee Sacked After Costly VAR Error Last Week

VAR Lee Mason is leaving the PGMOL and will no longer officiate in the Premier League, according to reports.

It is understood Mason is departing by mutual consent, a week after the 51-year-old made a major mistake in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Brentford. 

The VAR incorrectly allowed Ivan Toney’s equaliser to stand, after forgetting to check whether Christian Norgaard was offside. 

It left Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta furious and could prove costly in their race to beat Manchester City to the Premier League title. 

On Tuesday, Arteta reluctantly accepted the PGMOL’s apology and took a swipe at Mason. ‘I will only be satisfied if they give the two points back,’ Arteta said. 

PGMOL boss Howard Webb was angry, too, with Sportsmail revealing how he summoned all officials to a Stockley Park summit to discuss the weekend’s errors. 

It was a humiliating weekend for VAR, with Brighton also wrongly having a goal chalked off against Crystal Palace.

In their 1-1 draw, the offside line was drawn from the wrong Palace defender by John Brooks after Pervis Estupinan had scored for Roberto De Zerbi’s side. 

Under-fire Mason and Brooks were among the Premier League’s officials who sat through a video workshop led by Webb to ensure the same mistakes were not made the following weekend.

The PGMOL said on Tuesday night: ‘We accept mistakes were made… however, we are encouraged by the way our officials have responded and are confident they will take the learnings forward.’ 

While Mason was already set to sit out this weekend’s round of fixtures, Brooks will return as a fourth official when Arsenal take on Aston Villa on Saturday. 

Mason was a Premier League referee for 15 years and oversaw 287 top-flight matches during that time. He stopped after the 2020-21 season and became a full-time VAR the following campaign.

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.

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