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VAR farce sees official replaced for Arsenal and Liverpool games this week following Brighton blunder

The same VAR official was set to stand in for two more games this week


VAR official John Brooks has been dropped from this week’s Premier League fixtures after PGMOL admitted to ‘serious human error’ in Saturday’s clash between Brighton and Crystal Palace.

The referees association found themselves in hot water over the weekend after a series of errors and perceived injustices, with Chelsea seeing a seemingly stonewall penalty for handball turned down while Mario Lemina was sent off for crowding the referee as a result of a new unexplained rule.

Far more concerning, however, were the major errors in the VAR booth that cost both Arsenal and Brighton two points in their respective Premier League campaigns. In the case of Premier League leaders Arsenal, VAR official Lee Mason ‘forgot’ to draw the offside lines for Brentford’s equaliser, which would have seen Christian Norgaard ruled offside had it been applied correctly.

Equally farcical and perhaps more concerning was the decision made at Selhurst Park, which saw Brighton have a goal ruled out because the offside lines were drawn on the wrong player. Had they been correctly applied, the goal would have stood.

The Premier League’s referees have since been summoned to an emergency meeting, and have apologised to both clubs for ‘significant error in VAR process’.

And Brooks, who oversaw the Brighton debacle, was set to be the VAR official for both the Merseyside derby on Monday night, and the much-anticipated clash between Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the Premier League on Wednesday evening.

However, that has since changed, with Andre Marriner taking charge of VAR duties for the clash between Liverpool and Everton, and David Coote now listed as the man in charge of operating VAR at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

It remains unclear as to what Lee Mason’s fate will be, with the referee having already been stood down once this season after a mistake in Newcastle’s clash with Crystal Palace.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.


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