Football: Mason leaves referees' body after VAR error in Arsenal game

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta remonstrating with the fourth official during the match against Brentford on Feb 11, 2023. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON – Lee Mason has left the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) by mutual agreement after making a mistake as the Video Assistant Referee in last weekend’s 1-1 English Premier League draw between Arsenal and Brentford, the referees body said on Friday.

Ivan Toney’s equaliser for Brentford saw then-league leaders Arsenal drop two points in the title race, but replays showed the goal should have been ruled out for offside in the build-up.

PGMOL said later on Sunday that the decisions which went against both Arsenal and also Brighton & Hove Albion in Saturday’s league matches were down to “human error”.

“PGMOL can confirm that Video Assistant Referee Lee Mason has departed the organisation by mutual consent,” the referees body said in a statement on Friday.

Mason, a Premier League referee for 15 years, oversaw 287 top-flight matches during that time, with his last coming in the closing stages of the 2021-22 season.

“His full career in the professional game saw the 51-year-old officiate in over 500 fixtures after he progressed to the Football League in 1998,” PGMOL said.

Brighton saw their bid for European football hit a speed bump at Crystal Palace when they were held to a 1-1 draw, but Pervis Estupinan’s effort was wrongly chalked off for offside.

John Brooks was replaced as the VAR official for two games after disallowing the Brighton goal. REUTERS

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