Mike Dean will not officiate any Premier League game this weekend as the league body has approved his request to be exempted from duty. The controversial referee applied for the exemption in reaction to the death threats he reportedly received after the Premier League matches involving Southampton and West Ham United.
Mike Dean started having problems on February 2, 2021, when he officiated a Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton. In the match which ended 9-0 in favor of Manchester United, the 52-year-old English referee Gave Southampton’s Jan Bednarek a red card in the 2nd minute for an alleged foul on United’s Anthony Martial.
After the Premier League game, the controversial red card was reversed but the impact of the red card on Southampton against Manchester United stood which did not please most fans of Southampton.
On Saturday, February 6, Mike Dean was in charge of the Premier League match involving Fulham and West Ham United. The controversial referee decided to show West Ham’s Tomas Soucek a red card for alleged violent conduct.
Just like in the first case involving Southampton, his decision to award Tomas a red card was reviewed and reversed for the second time in a row.
In reaction to that, some unknown fans began to send Mike Dean and his family death threats which subsequently forced him to ask for a time off ahead of the league matches coming up this weekend.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “It is inexcusable that Mike Dean and his family have received online abuse, including death threats, as a result of doing his job officiating at a Premier League match.
“It is completely unacceptable that we are seeing abusive behavior aimed at players, managers, and match officials regularly on social media platforms.
“Mike and his family have our full support in reporting this to the police. This once again highlights the need for greater proactive intervention from social media companies to stop online abuse and identify offenders.”
While West Ham’s Tomas Soucek showed support for the embattled referee by tweeting: “Whatever decisions are made on the pitch should stay on the pitch. I don’t like hearing about it interfering with personal life and I send Mike Dean and his family my support.
“There is no place for abuse of any kind. It is in the past and I’m now focused on the rest of the season.”
Whatever decisions are made on the pitch should stay on the pitch. I don’t like hearing about it interfering with personal life and I send Mike Dean and his family my support. There is no place for abuse of any kind. It is in the past and I’m now focused on the rest of the season https://t.co/Tcofvo8a9X— Tomáš Souček (@tomassoucek28) February 8, 2021
Even though Mike Dean would not officiate any Premier League game this weekend, he will be on duty on Wednesday, February 10, when he takes charge of the FA Cup fifth-round tie between Leicester and Brighton.