July 4, 2022

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Lee Mason is ‘past it’ and should RETIRE, claims former referees’ chief Keith Hackett

Former referees’ chief Keith Hackett has called on Lee Mason to retire following his ‘appalling piece of refereeing’ at the Hawthorns on Saturday. 

The Premier League official was branded a ‘f***ing disgrace’ and an ’embarrassment’ by furious Brighton players after disallowing a goal twice in their relegation six-pointer with West Brom

And now ex-PGMOL supremo Hackett has waded into the debate on Mason’s display, urging him to hang up his whistle because he’s ‘past it’. 

Lee Mason has been told to retire after his controversial performance at the Hawthorns

Lee Mason has been told to retire after his controversial performance at the Hawthorns

Lee Mason has been told to retire after his controversial performance at the Hawthorns

Lewis Dunk's quick free-kick was disallowed, then awarded and disallowed again by Mason

Lewis Dunk's quick free-kick was disallowed, then awarded and disallowed again by Mason

Lewis Dunk’s quick free-kick was disallowed, then awarded and disallowed again by Mason

‘What happened at West Brom was an appalling piece of refereeing,’ Hackett wrote in his column for The Telegraph

‘I have been saying for three seasons now that Lee Mason should have retired. It might sound cruel, but what other conclusion could you reach after watching the chaotic scenes at the Hawthorns?’

The incident saw Brighton defender Lewis Dunk score a quick free-kick in the first half, only for Mason to disallow it before changing his mind to award the goal.

But after VAR checked the goal, Mason had to blow his whistle again to confirm that it had been ruled out, sparking angry reactions from the Brighton players

‘He clearly had lost focus and it led to an embarrassing chain of events,’ Hackett continued.

Mason was surrounded by angry Brighton players amid chaotic scenes on Saturday afternoon

Mason was surrounded by angry Brighton players amid chaotic scenes on Saturday afternoon

Mason was surrounded by angry Brighton players amid chaotic scenes on Saturday afternoon

Former referees' chief Keith Hackett believes Mason is 'past it' and should stop officiating

Former referees' chief Keith Hackett believes Mason is 'past it' and should stop officiating

Former referees’ chief Keith Hackett believes Mason is ‘past it’ and should stop officiating

‘The Premier League should showcase the best referees in the world. Instead I get colleagues from abroad contacting me each week to ask what is going on with our officiating. And this was the only latest example of it. You would not expect these scenes in Sunday League.

‘Mason is past it. In the last quarter of the game you could see him struggling to keep up with the play. He eventually started limping, having apparently suffered an injury. In that case, he should have been replaced by the fourth official, rather than carrying on.’ 

West Brom’s goalkeeper was at his post setting up a wall when Mason blew his whistle, and Dunk quickly took the opportunity to place the ball in the other corner.

However, as the ball was in flight, Mason blew his whistle again, leading to mass confusion and huge protests from the Brighton players.

VAR ruled that the referee had blown his whistle before the ball had crossed the line

VAR ruled that the referee had blown his whistle before the ball had crossed the line

VAR ruled that the referee had blown his whistle before the ball had crossed the line

Dunk tries and fails to get Mason to change his mind yet again, with West Brom going on to win

Dunk tries and fails to get Mason to change his mind yet again, with West Brom going on to win

Dunk tries and fails to get Mason to change his mind yet again, with West Brom going on to win 

After West Brom sealed a 1-0 win over their relegation rivals, an angry Dunk said: ‘It’s embarrassing, an horrendous decision. I asked the ref if I could take the free-kick, he blew his whistle and I took it. Just because you have so much pressure from the bench and the players he disallows the goal.

‘VAR don’t know what he said. It’s an horrendous decision. Why doesn’t he come speak to the press like me? Why doesn’t he come and say his point? Never. They hide behind their bubble… that’s fine, isn’t it? I don’t think he knew what he was doing. I said to him, “can I take the free-kick?”, he said “yes”, he blew the whistle and I took it.

‘It went in the back of the net and he give the goal. Why did he give the goal? Because he knew he said go. I don’t know how VAR is getting involved because he said the words. You can go back and look at the video if you want.’