Premier League

Game changer: Did Brighton suffer from the worst piece of refereeing of the year?

Lee Mason gave a demonstration on how not to make a decision as Brighton played WBA in the Premier League on Saturday.

5:24pm on Saturday 27th February 2021
Robin Bairner

When VAR was introduced, it arrived with the fanfare of taking controversy away from big moments. As Brighton discovered in their Premier League meeting with West Brom, it can only add fuel to the fire.

With 28 minutes of the clock Lewis Dunk heard referee Lee Mason blow his whistle to indicate a free kick on the edge of the box should be taken.

Only, WBA Sam Johnstone was hugging a post lining up his wall. Dunk recognised this and planted the ball into the unguarded net.

Immediately, he turned to celebrate only to have his joy cut short by the official.

After close to a minute, with Mason discussing the action over his mouthpiece with the fourth official, he then pointed to the centre spot to avoid the goal.

The pantomime, however, was only just beginning.

As the WBA players pestered the referee and manager Sam Allardyce paced gruffly on the touchline, the decision was referred to VAR.

Another 90 seconds passed before the goal was disallowed because of an apparent offside relating to a Brighton player standing behind the wall.

Just how he was imposing on Johnstone’s line of sight when the goalkeeper was hugging his post behind a defensive wall four meters away is anyone’s guess.

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