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English Football Referee Mike Dean Withdraws From This Weekend’s Premier League Fixtures After Receiving Death Threats

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Mike Dean has asked not to officiate as referee at a Premier League game this weekend after being on the receiving end of abuse and death threats over handing out two controversial red cards within five days.

The English referee becomes the latest victim in an ongoing tide of online abuse against prominent football figures.

Dean who said has reported the abuse to the police, is now set to only referee the FA Cup tie between Leicester City and Brighton on Wednesday but won’t be involved in the weekend league games.

The 52-year-old was criticised for sending off West Ham United’s midfielder Tomas Soucek for violent conduct after he appeared to accidentally strike Aleksandar Mitrovic in their closing seconds of the 0-0 draw with Fulham last Saturday.

That incident took place four days after Dean sent off Southampton defender Jan Bednarek for a challenge on Anthony Martial inside the box.

He handed the defender a red card after consulting the VAR display monitor by the sideline.

Dean also gave the Manchester side a penalty from the same foul and the match ended 9-0 thrashing against the saints (Southampton).

Both controversial decisions have however been overturned on appeal and both players will be available for their teams’ next game.

Reacting online abuse against players and football officials, Professional Games Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) managing director 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.

On his part, 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 behaviour aimed at players, managers and match officials regularly on social media platforms.

As earlier stated, Dean will go on to officiate the FA Cup contest between Leicester City and Brighton on Wednesday night but won’t be involved in the weekend league games.

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