Mike Dean sparks outrage by admitting Chelsea VAR mistake to protect friend Anthony Taylor

In a stunning revelation, Mike Dean has openly acknowledged that he intentionally refrained from sending Anthony Taylor to review a decision to avoid subjecting him to potential criticism.

In the thrilling 2-2 draw between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea last season, where emotions ran high, Dean was overseeing the VAR system.

The match was marked by several contentious incidents that went without consequences, particularly a situation where Cristian Romero seemingly tugged at Marc Cucurella’s hair. Additionally, Harry Kane’s late equalizer salvaged a point for Spurs in the same game.

peaking on Simon Jordan’sUp Frontpodcast, Dean has now admitted he made a mistake.

He said: “I missed the stupid hair pull at Chelsea versus Tottenham which was pathetic from my point of view.

“It’s one of them where if I had my time again, what would I do? I’d send Anthony [Taylor] to the screen. I think I knew if I did send him to the screen … he’s cautioned both managers, he’s had a hell of a game, it’s been such a tough game end to end.”

Dean continued: “I said to Anthony afterwards: ‘I just didn’t want to send you to the screen after what has gone on in the game’.

“I didn’t want to send him up because he is a mate as well as a referee and I think I didn’t want to send him up because I didn’t want any more grief than he already had.”

After talking about that mistake, Dean revealed that he was petrified when sitting in the VAR hot seat.

Image Credit: Getty

He said: “That was a major error. If they don’t score from the corner it is not as big an issue. But I knew full well then I would be stood down the week after. I asked to take a bit of time off because it wasn’t for me.

“I used to get in the car on a Friday and was dreading Saturday. I was thinking, “I hope nothing happens.” I used to be petrified sitting in the chair.”

Dean was not selected for VAR duties for the following two months before stepping away from refereeing altogether.

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