According to The Sun, referee Mike Dean has been told by his bosses at Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) that he was wrong to send West Ham United midfielder Tomas Soucek off in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Fulham.
The Czech Republic international was dismissed in the closing stages of the game for an elbow on Aleksandar Mitrovic, but it was clearly unintentional.
However, VAR and Dean believed otherwise and everyone, including the Fulham striker, was left surprised by the decision.
The red card would have seen the West Ham midfielder miss Tuesday’s FA Cup fifth round clash against Manchester United and the league games against Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur, but the three-match ban is expected to be lifted as the Hammers are set to win their appeal.
Soucek has been one of manager David Moyes’ best players this term, and not having him available for the coming crucial fixtures would be a huge blow.
An independent panel will now make a decision on Dean’s call, and the dismissal will only be overturned if the panel feels the official was not technically right to make his decision.
Thankfully for West Ham, the red card did not have any effect on the outcome of the game and they will now hope it is successfully rescinded.
While he is one of the most experienced referees around, Dean is famous for often making himself the centre of attraction in many games.
He wrongly sent off Southampton’s Jan Bednarek against Manchester United earlier in the week, and the Saints won their subsequent appeal.
His decision to send off Soucek despite spending time to watch the replays remains baffling, and such calls will continue to bring the officiating in the top-flight into disrepute.