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NEW: Death threats against referee Mike Dean were sent to his family over weekend + he has asked not to be involved in any Premier League match next week. Follows West Ham red card controversy. Full story on @TimesSport at 12- Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) February 8, 2021
Dean chose to send off Tomas Soucek in injury time of the 0-0 draw on Saturday, after the midfielder was adjudged to have elbowed Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Not many people watching the match believed that it was anything other than accidental contact with the Fulham striker and fans, pundits and David Moyes were all extremely unhappy.
The decision followed Dean's sending off of Jan Bednarek during Southampton's 9-0 loss to Manchester United last week, and both decisions have since been overturned.
Dean, who has sent off more players than anyone else in Premier League history, has now asked to be removed from duty in the top flight next weekend following death threats to him and his family, though he is still set to officiate Leicester City v Brighton in the FA Cup in midweek.
Speaking to the Times, Managing director of the Professional Games Match Officials Ltd Mike Riley, said, "Threats and abuse of this nature are totally unacceptable and we fully support Mike's decision to report these messages his family received to the police.
"Nobody should be a victim of abhorrent messages like this. Online abuse is unacceptable in any walk of life and more needs to be done to tackle the problem."
PGMOL, who decide which officials are at each game, were already considering splitting up Dean and Lee Mason, who had been the VAR official during both the overturned red cards.
The pair took the opposite roles on January 30th for Southampton vs Aston Villa, as the hosts were denied a penalty.
Speaking after the draw with Fulham, West Ham boss David Moyes claimed he was 'embarrassed' for officials. "I'm embarrassed for the people in VAR and the referees who have made that decision," he told talkSPORT.
"The two gentlemen involved, Mike Dean and Lee Mason, are far better referees than that and have been far better referees.
"I'm amazed they hadn't seen that as anything other than an accident. What can I say? It's completely accidental, no malice. He tried to keep him away but catches him accidentally."
Soucek, who will now be available for the Hammers FA Cup tie with Manchester United in midweek, took to social media to express his relief at the decision to rescind the red card.
I am glad my red card against Fulham has been overturned. I've checked it, I've gone over 200 games without a single red card. My entire career. I am looking forward to helping the team in the important games this week! Thanks for your support!#westham #whu #COYI pic.twitter.com/wANFeAFmhf- Tomáš Souček (@tomassoucek28) February 8, 2021
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