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Paul Merson and Mike Dean involved in heated row over referees on Soccer Saturday, Simon Thomas had to step in

Ryan Smart

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Paul Merson and Mike Dean involved in heated row over referees on Soccer Saturday, Simon Thomas had to step in

Arsenal legend Paul Merson and former Premier League official Mike Dean have been involved in a heated row over VAR and referees on Soccer Saturday.

Dean joined Soccer Saturday at the beginning of the season as a pundit for the show, following his decision to retire from refereeing.

Today is the first time the 55-year-old has appeared on the programme since last weekend's VAR controversy involving Liverpool and forward Luis Diaz.

VAR official Darren England wrongly believed the on-field call was to rule Diaz's goal out for offside and sided with it, despite determining the goal was onside as part of his checks. The goal was therefore not given.

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PGMOL released audio surrounding the VAR decision on Tuesday, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp even arguing that a replay of the game should take place under normal circumstances.

In the days since, almost every Premier League manager and pundit has had their say on VAR - and the row went up a notch on Saturday.

Dean's argument centred around the laws and whether ex-players should be brought into refereeing.

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The ex-referee said: "Do you get ex-players in? For me, no, because if you get ex-players in, half of them don't know the laws of the game, as you can tell by what you've said about restarting games for the sake of it."

Merson shouted: "For the sake of it? What do you mean, for the sake of it?

"You're playing Liverpool vs Tottenham, one of the biggest games, and you're saying for the sake of it?

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"Come on! There's no law. No-one's going to die. Stop the game - nothing is going to happen!

"You go, 'Oh, I'm going to get in trouble'. No. Stop the game. Stop the game and then look at the circumstances."

"Seriously, it's typical not played the game. Because you know the rules, it's different."

While Dean tried to argue his point, presenter Simon Thomas was forced to intervene: "Merse, mate, calm down."

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Dean continued: "It's the law, mate, it's the law. You can't change the law, simple as.

"If you want to blow up like a bottle of pop, that's fine."

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports

Topics: Paul Merson, Mike Dean, Liverpool, VAR, Premier League

Ryan Smart
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