PGMOL release statement after Mike Dean admitted ‘pathetic’ VAR mistake

Mauricio Pochettino previews Chelsea's clash with Luton Town

The Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) organisation have issued an official statement in response to Mike Dean admitting that he made a ‘pathetic’ mistake on VAR duties at the start of last season. Dean recently confessed that he failed to correct an on-pitch error during Chelsea’s home game against Tottenham because he did not want to cause close friend Anthony Taylor ‘grief’.

The match ended level thanks to a late equaliser from Harry Kane but Chelsea were denied what should have been a penalty just moments before the goal was scored. Cristian Romero pulled Marc Cucurella’s hair inside the area but Dean failed to review the incident in a bid to save Taylor’s blushes at the end of a hot-tempered match.

Responding to the claims with a statement, a PGMOL spokesperson said: “VARs undergo extensive training with the focus centred entirely around effectively working with the on-field team of officials to rectify clear and obvious errors.

“When VARs identify a clear and obvious error by the on-field team and match officials, they should intervene and recommend a review by the referee. We strongly refute any suggestions that VARs do not intervene, for whatever reason, when they have identified a clear and obvious error.”

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Dean, who spent 22 years refereeing in the Premier League before becoming a full-time VAR official, said earlier this week that he should have reviewed the incident but explained that he was trying to protect Taylor from extra scrutiny after the final whistle.

“I missed the stupid hair pull at Chelsea versus Tottenham which was pathetic from my point of view,” said Dean on Up Front with Simon Jordan. “It’s one of them where if I had my time again, what would I do? I’d send Anthony [Taylor] to the screen.

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“I think I knew if I did send him to the screen… he’s cautioned both managers, he’s had a hell of a game, it’s been such a tough game end to end. I said to Anthony afterwards: ‘I just didn’t want to send you to the screen after what has gone on in the game’.

“I didn’t want to send him up because he is a mate as well as a referee and I think I didn’t want to send him up because I didn’t want any more grief than he already had. Anthony, he is big and bald and ugly enough to know if he is going to the screen he is going to the screen for a reason.

“If someone pulls their hair now it’s dead easy. It’s just a brainwave by me, a really bad call by me and it kind of affected me as VAR going forward.”

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