Mike Dean takes time off amid death threats 

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Mike Dean takes time off amid death threats: referee Mike Dean has faced numerous death threats after a duo of controversial red card incidents. 

Mike Dean has asked not to participate in any of this weekend’s games as an official after vicious social media backlash. Dean received online abuse and death threats after giving two controversial red cards in both the West Ham and Southampton games.

These red cards have caused debate as they were appealed and later overturned, sparking anger amongst fans. The first red was flashed to Southampton defender Jan Bednarek against Manchester United in their 9-0 win at Old Trafford.

Martial was clean through on goal before being tucked down by the defender. However, despite the Saints protesting, Bednarek was given his marching orders. Bednarek could be heard on live tv as he walked down the tunnel while being consoled by a staff member, saying:

Martial said it wasn’t a foul”.

The second incident occurred during the West Ham v Fulham game at Craven Cottage last Saturday. During a West Ham freekick, midfielder Thomas Soucek appeared to elbow Mitrovic in the face, flinging himself to the ground.

The in form Czech received a straight red, looking baffled as to why he was sent off. Dean had referred to his officials, VAR, and the pitchside monitor before making both decisions. This, in turn, only made fans angrier for his error in judgment.

Support for Dean

However, with Dean and his family immediately receiving targeted abuse, many have rallied around him. One of these has been the player he sent off, Soucek, who voiced his support on Twitter.

“Whatever decisions are made on the pitch should stay on the pitch.

“I don’t like hearing about it interfering with personal life, and I send Mike Dean and his family my support.”

However, Hammers manager David Moyes was less sympathetic, slamming the referee as his side drew 0-0.

The Premier League is in support of Dean as police investigate the matter further. Former top flight official Mike Riley voiced his support for Dean’s situation via Sky news.

“Nobody should be a victim of abhorrent messages like this. Online abuse is unacceptable in any walk of life, and more needs to be done to tackle the problem.”

Dean will still referee the FA Cup fifth round match between Leicester and Brighton tomorrow night despite threats. After that, he will be taking a week or so off to avoid further backlash. 

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