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LEE MASON: The bizarre refereeing decision that baffled fans

Image: BBC Sport

Lee Mason gave Brighton the all-clear to take a quick free-kick on the edge of West Brom's area.

As he realised the goalkeeper wasn't set, he blew his whistle and killed the game.

It was a bizarre situation as the referee flip-flopped between allowing the goal and chalking it off.

Brighton's players were understandably furious at the referee's indecisiveness.

The West Brom players obviously said the referee reached the correct decision to rule out the goal.


Lee Mason's mistake


The incident was then passed on to the video assistant referee (VAR) who deemed the goal should be ruled out.

Lee Mason had blown his whistle before the ball hit the net, and therefore, the game was adjudged to have been stopped dead before the goal.

After realising that he had allowed Brighton to take a quick free-kick before noticing the West Brom 'keeper wasn't ready, he panicked.


Refereeing controversy


Refereeing standards have been brought up once again thanks to this incident which left many scratching their heads.

Stuart Attwell failed to give Manchester United a penalty after Callum Hudson Odoi's arm made contact with the ball.

In previous years, it would have been a nothing incident. This year, however, it's a stonewall penalty.

Hudson Odoi's hand is in an unnatural position and clear contact is made with the ball inside the area.

Attwell allegedly told United players if he awarded a penalty it would "cause a lot of talk".

Luke Shaw said this in his post-match press conference before United backtracked and said Shaw had misheard the conversation.

Both he and his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who referenced the incident to the media, escaped FA punishment.


What's the answer?


Referees are in clear need of help after a season blighted by shocking decisions and dodgy VAR checks.

Many are calling for the refs to be retrained in the hope improvements will be made.

However, the one thing most fans want is more accountability.

People want referees to be more open and explain their decisions post-match, as well as having access to the conversations between the on-field and video assistant referees.

Lewis Dunk, who took Brighton's ruled out free-kick, said as much in his post-match comments.

"It's a horrendous decision. Why doesn't he come and speak to the press like me? Why doesn't he come and make his point? But it will never happen, he'll go and hide behind his bubble," Dunk told Sky Sports.


Not Mason's first moment in the spotlight


Lee Mason has been stood down from Premier League duty already this season.

It came after his part as the VAR in the incidents that seen West Ham's Tomas Soucek and Southampton's Jan Bednarek were shown red cards.

These decisions were both overturned and the on-field referee, Mike Dean, received death threats after the West Ham game.

Earlier this season, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said Lee Mason wasn't "good enough" to officiate in the Premier League.

He was fined £25,000 as a result of his post-match comments.

Based on this incident, maybe Nuno deserves a refund.

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