Sky Sports pundit Paul Robinson has backed PGMOL’s decision to drop referee Lee Mason from VAR duties after he made a poor decision to disallow Newcastle United’s goal against Crystal Palace.
The Lowdown: Disallowed goal
On Saturday 3 September, the Magpies took on the Eagles in a Premier League clash at St James’ Park. Early in the second half, Newcastle had the ball in the visitors’ net after Palace defender Tyrick Mitchell turned in Kieran Trippier’s free-kick.
However, referee Michael Salisbury ruled out the goal after consulting the pitchside monitor on the advice of VAR official Lee Mason, who asserted that Joe Willock had fouled Eagles goalkeeper Vicente Guaita despite being pushed.
Three days later, the Daily Mail revealed that Mason had been dropped by PGMOL from carrying out VAR duties for the weekend’s fixtures (which were later postponed) due to his role in the controversial decision.
The Latest: Robinson sympathises with Newcastle
Robinson, who often works as a pundit for Sky Sports, claims that whilst it is the right decision to drop Mason, the outcome won’t really benefit Newcastle as they would have won the game if the goal wasn’t disallowed.
Speaking with Football Insider, the former England goalkeeper claimed: “What else can they do? It is probably benefitting the teams they are playing against.
“It is difficult to stomach but you cannot overturn decision and you cannot overturn results. What other punishment can you give the officials?
“They are where they are for a reason. They have got the qualifications and they are the best of the best. People make mistakes. You cannot punish somebody forever.
“The punishment fits the crime really. It does not help Newcastle though.”
The Verdict: Big decision at end of season
Whilst it would be unfair to bear a long-standing grudge against Mason over that incident, the result may well have repercussions for Newcastle come the end of the season.
With the Magpies pushing for a top-half finish in 2022/23 with the aim of competing in Europe the following year, every single point could be vital when it comes to the last weekend of the campaign.
Where will Newcastle finish in the Premier League?
7th - 10th
Therefore, whilst the Premier League have acted on the decision, Mason’s mistake could come back to haunt the Magpies later down the line.
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