MARK CLATTENBURG: Brighton right to feel angry after free-kick fiasco

MARK CLATTENBURG: Brighton’s players were right to feel angry with Lee Mason after the free-kick fiasco that saw Lewis Dunk’s goal ruled out… it was a lack of concentration from the referee

  • Referee Lee Mason did not need to wait for West Brom’s goalkeeper to be ready
  • The official was correct to initially allow the free kick to be taken by Lewis Dunk
  • However, his decision to blow the whistle for the second time proved costly
  • After initially disallowing the visitors’ strike, Mason reversed his decision 
  • But he was told to change his mind again as he had blown his whistle twice 

Back in 2017, I was refereeing Liverpool against Chelsea and David Luiz asked me if he could take a quick free kick. Fine by me. 

I’d measured the defensive wall, making sure it was 9.15 metres back, and the game was ready to restart so I blew my whistle. 

Luiz took the free kick, scored and Simon Mingolet was blamed for not being ready. Once a referee has measured the defensive wall, he can restart play by blowing his whistle. 

It’s down to the goalkeeper to be ready – not for everyone else to wait. Lee Mason did this correctly on Saturday, but then realised West Brom’s goalkeeper was still organising his wall. He blows his whistle again, which stops the match. 

Lee Mason’s second blow of the whistle cost Brighton as their free kick was finally disallowed

Mason speaks to VAR before eventually reverting to his original decision to chalk the goal off

Goalscorer Lewis Dunk airs his grievances with the official after his lapse in concentration

Mason awarded the goal as there is nothing in the laws which states you have to wait for the goalkeeper to arrange his wall. 

However, VAR Simon Hooper had to inform Mason that he had blown his whistle again before the ball had crossed the line. 

Therefore, as per the laws, he could not award a goal. Brighton will rightfully feel angry as they were entitled to take the free kick after the first whistle. It was a lack of concentration from Mason. 




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