Referees chief Mike Riley has backed the request of Mike Dean to stand himself down from officiating at a Premier League game this weekend after he and his family received death threats on social media.
Dean, 52, had been involved in two controversial incidents and the threats have been reported to the police.
The referee showed a red card to West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek for catching Aleksandar Mitrovic with his elbow late on during Saturday’s goalless draw at Fulham and also sent off Southampton defender Jan Bednarek in the 9-0 defeat at Manchester United.
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Both of the decisions – which followed Dean reviewing each incident on the pitchside monitor after consulting VAR – have since been overturned following an appeal.
The PA news agency understands both Dean and his family received abuse on social media over the weekend, including death threats, which have been reported.
Dean will be in charge of the FA Cup fifth-round tie between Leicester and Brighton on Wednesday night, but asked not to be involved in a Premier League match at the weekend.
PGMOL managing director Riley offered the organisation’s full support to Dean and condemned the abuse.
“Threats and abuse of this nature are totally unacceptable and we fully support Mike’s decision to report these messages his family received to the police,” Riley said in a PGMOL statement.
“Nobody should be victim of abhorrent messages like this.
“Online abuse is unacceptable in any walk of life and more needs to be done to tackle the problem.”