Following high-profile VAR mistakes in the Premier League at the weekend, referees chief Howard Webb has called a PGMOL meeting for all officials on Tuesday.
What has happened?
Arsenal and Brighton suffered from decisions that were later described as “human error” by the refereeing body, with the Gunners conceding a goal to Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Brighton seeing an effort from their left-back Pervis Estupinan disallowed at Crystal Palace.
Both teams lost two points due to the 1-1 stalemate, which hurt their hopes of winning the title and qualifying for Europe.
Despite the PGMOL describing that decision as “subjective,” Chelsea was also furious when they were not given a late penalty for a handball by Tomas Soucek in their encounter at West Ham, another 1-1 draw.
The PGMOL stated that the VAR operators, Lee Mason and John Brooks, believe the Arsenal and Brighton decisions to be incorrect.
VAR Lee Mason didn't notice Christian Nørgaard coming back from an offside position for Brentford's equaliser against Arsenal.
For that reason, offside technology wasn't applied and the goal was given.
PGMOL admit it was 'human error'.
(h/t @DaleJohnsonESPN) pic.twitter.com/tRLhKI4tfX
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 12, 2023
Howard Webb calls Brighton & Arsenal to acknowledge & explain significant errors
According to a statement from the PGMOL, “PGMOL can confirm that its Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb has contacted both Brighton and Arsenal to recognise and explain the serious errors in the VAR process in their respective Premier League matches on Saturday.”
“PGMOL carefully reviews both human error cases and examines offside situations.”
Brighton acknowledged that the PGMOL had gotten in touch with them once their issue was detailed. The Seagulls stated, “A serious error was made in disallowing Pervis Estupinan’s goal at Crystal Palace yesterday, as was confirmed to the club by PGMOL last night.”
“The goal should have stood because the lines established in the VAR room to determine if Pervis was in an offside position were wrong. The club has accepted PGMOL’s apology despite being extremely displeased by the mistake and won’t be adding any more remarks.”
PGMOL can confirm its Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb has contacted both Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion to acknowledge and explain the significant errors in the VAR process in their respective Premier League fixtures on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/dCDkooxhxf
— PGMOL (@FA_PGMOL) February 12, 2023
Emergency meeting on Tuesday
As a result, Webb has called a meeting of all officials at Stockley Park on Tuesday to discuss what went wrong.
One of Webb’s predecessors in the position of referee chief has suggested that Mason be fired since he has committed two grave mistakes in the previous two seasons.
“Howard Webb is now in command of the PGMOL,” according to Hackett, “He should fire permanent VAR operator Lee Mason as one of his first moves.”
“Mason disappointed a different referee this weekend by failing to rule the Brentford score as offside. VAR needs to make these judgements correctly.”
After overturning two red cards in a West Ham vs Southampton game two years ago, he was relieved of his VAR duties. Earlier this season, he denied a Newcastle goal against Crystal Palace that should have stood.