Mike Dean admits making VAR mistake to protect fellow referee Anthony Taylor
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Mike Dean has sensationally admitted that he didn’t send Anthony Taylor to review a decision in order to prevent him from getting ‘grief’.
During last season’s pulsating 2-2 draw between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, Dean was in charge of the VAR.
There were some controversial moments during the fiery clash that went unpunished. Most notably when Cristian Romero appeared to pull Marc Cucurella’s hair before Harry Kane scored a late equaliser to salvage a point for Spurs.
Speaking on Simon Jordan’s Up Front podcast, Dean has now admitted he made a mistake.
He said: “I missed the stupid hair pull at Chelsea versus Tottenham which was pathetic from my point of view.
“It's one of them where if I had my time again, what would I do? I'd send Anthony [Taylor] to the screen. I think I knew if I did send him to the screen … he's cautioned both managers, he's had a hell of a game, it's been such a tough game end to end.”
📸 - Before the corner from which Kane scored, there was a VAR check for a possible red card for Romero who pulled Cucurella down with his own hair. pic.twitter.com/MjbenObvWo— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) August 14, 2022
Dean continued: “I said to Anthony afterwards: ‘I just didn't want to send you to the screen after what has gone on in the game’.
“I didn't want to send him up because he is a mate as well as a referee and I think I didn't want to send him up because I didn't want any more grief than he already had.”
After talking about that mistake, Dean revealed that he was petrified when sitting in the VAR hot seat.
He said: “That was a major error. If they don’t score from the corner it is not as big an issue. But I knew full well then I would be stood down the week after. I asked to take a bit of time off because it wasn’t for me.
“I used to get in the car on a Friday and was dreading Saturday. I was thinking, "I hope nothing happens." I used to be petrified sitting in the chair.”
Dean was not selected for VAR duties for the following two months before stepping away from refereeing altogether.