BBC pundit 'baffled' by key West Ham development
Noel Whelan “really doesn’t understand” some refereeing decisions amid West Ham ace Tomas Soucek’s controversial sending off on Saturday.
The former Premier League star spoke exclusively with Football Insider after the Czech midfielder’s red card in the 0-0 against Fulham was rescinded by the FA after a successful Hammers appeal.
Soucek was dismissed for violent conduct by Mike Dean in the 97th minute following a lengthy VAR review after the referee adjudged him to have elbowed Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Most commentators agreed that the contact was accidental, however, and their thoughts were echoed by the appeals board who overturned Soucek’s three-match ban.
Soucek’s was one of a number of disputable VAR-related calls in recent weeks and Whelan is growing frustrated with the standard of refereeing in the Premier League.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “We’ve got to talk about consistent refereeing. I really don’t understand some of the decisions.
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“They are so inconsistent with their decisions that it baffles me. I’m not sure which way to turn now, and I’m pretty sure the players don’t either.
“You always expected it to be rescinded but you just don’t understand what referees see in the moment.
“That’s my issue. It’s all well and good getting it rescinded but at the time it could have made a difference.”
Whelan was speaking before it was revealed that Dean had received online death threats following the red card decision.
The 52-year-old notified the police and requested not to oversee any Premier League matches this weekend, though he will still referee Brighton v Leicester in the FA Cup on Wednesday.