Lee Mason punished after VAR controversy that cost Newcastle victory
Lee Mason punished after Newcastle VAR controversy
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Lee Mason punished after Newcastle VAR controversy

Lee Mason had a shocking weekend on VAR duty for Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace, and has now been punished by the Premier League.

The officials for this weekend’s upcoming games have been announced, but Mason is nowhere to be seen.

The 50-year-old is regularly on VAR, having retired as an on-field referee in the summer of 2021. He has since spent his time solely working on VAR, which makes what happened on Saturday all the more criminal.

Mason has been dropped, and will not be involved in any Premier League game this weekend. It shows that a serious error was made, but that’s no use to Newcastle who missed out on victory.

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Why Lee Mason has been punished

The incident at St James’ Park cost Eddie Howe’s side a second win of the season.

Kieran Trippier’s free-kick was headed across goal by Sven Botman in the direction of Joe Willock. The Toon midfielder jumped in the air to head it in, only to collide with onrushing Palace keeper Vicente Guaita.

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The pair were left in heap, as the ball bounced off Tyrick Mitchell and went in for an own goal. Referee Michael Salisbury initially gave the goal, only to be called over to the screen by Mason.

The VAR official determined that the collision was a foul by Willock on the goalkeeper, meaning the goal should not stand. That’s the decision Salisbury went with, and it was chalked off.

However, replays clearly showed that Willock was pushed into Guaita. The goal should have stood or a penalty awarded to Newcastle. Yet somehow it was Palace who got the benefit of the decision.

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It was a disgraceful call by Mason, and it’s no surprise to see him punished by the Premier League.

Next up for Newcastle is West Ham on Sunday – a game that will be refereed by Craig Pawson. Paul Tierney will be in charge of VAR.

Both sides will be desperate for no more disgraceful calls, with the Magpies and the Hammers having their Saturday ruined by the video assistant referee.