Lee Mason QUITS as a Premier League VAR referee


Vedio Assisting Ref [VAR] Lee Mason is leaving the PGMOL and will no longer officiate in the Premier League, Sportsmail can reveal.

It is understood Mason is departing by mutual consent, a week after the 51-year-old made a major mistake in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Brentford.

The VAR incorrectly allowed Ivan Toney’s equaliser to stand, after forgetting to check whether Christian Norgaard was offside.

It left Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta furious and could prove costly in their race to beat Manchester City to the Premier League title.

Earlier in the week, Arteta reluctantly accepted the PGMOL’s apology and took a swipe at Mason. ‘I will only be satisfied if they give the two points back,’ Arteta said.

‘I appreciate the sincere, genuine apologies, but it doesn’t take away the fact we have two points fewer. Everyone makes mistakes but that was something else. I wasn’t having it, the club wasn’t having it.

‘There was huge anger and disappointment because that wasn’t human error, that was a big misunderstanding of your job. That is not acceptable, I’m sorry. It cost Arsenal two points, we’ll have to find those two points somewhere else in the league.’

PGMOL boss Howard Webb was angry, too, with Sportsmail revealing how he summoned all officials to a Stockley Park summit to discuss the weekend’s errors.

It was an awful weekend for VAR, with Brighton also wrongly having a goal chalked off against Crystal Palace.

In their draw, the offside line was drawn from the wrong Palace defender by John Brooks after Pervis Estupinan had scored for Roberto De Zerbi’s side.

Under-fire Mason and Brooks were among the Premier League’s officials who sat through a video workshop led by Webb to ensure the same mistakes are not made this weekend.

Mason was a Premier League referee for 15 years and oversaw 287 top-flight matches during that time.

He stopped after the 2020-21 season to become a full-time VAR. His full career in the professional game saw the 51-year-old officiate in over 500 fixtures after he progressed to the Football League in 1998.