Spiky Mike Dean is quizzed live on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday after fury over 'pathetic' VAR call for Chelsea clash | The SunAugust 26, 2023
FORMER Premier League ref Mike Dean became defensive when questioned live on Sky Sports over his "pathetic" VAR call last season.
Dean has hit back at criticism after his comments referring to a VAR incident sparked outrage.
The former referee received a live TV grilling on Soccer Saturday following his revelations about a Premier League game last season.
Dean admitted this week that he made a "pathetic" error in the clash between Chelsea and Tottenham last August.
The now retired official confessed that he failed to correct an on-pitch error because he didn't want to cause close friend Anthony Taylor "grief".
He was on VAR duty and chose not to recommend an on-field review after Cristian Romero had pulled Marc Cucurella's hair in the build-up to Harry Kane's 96th-minute equaliser.
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Dean claimed that he decided against the referral due to the fiery nature of the derby and that his "mate" Taylor didn't deserve further pressure.
PGMOL chiefs responded to Dean's comments with a strongly worded statement on Friday afternoon.
But Dean has now defended himself, insisting that his use of the word "mate" has been blown out of proportion.
Dean, 55, said: "It's funny because that's all been blown out of context.
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"What I've said is old news, it's been out in news reports before maybe four or five months ago, so it's not new news.
"I refer to him [Taylor] as a mate, I mentioned before that what you've got to look at in context is that you might not like some guys in your refereeing group.
"But at three o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, they're your mates and you want your mates to do well, so the mate thing has been blown all out of proportion.
"I want to support the referee as much as I can; that's what you do as a VAR.
"Yes, he was wrong and I should have sent him to the screen but to say I didn't send him over because he's a mate is an absolute farce.
"And it's just been blown out of proportion. It's just people trying to make a story."
Chelsea fans have come out again to ridicule the bizarre justification.
One fuming fan wrote: "Can’t hide now after admitting you manipulated a game".
Another added: "‘Blown out of proportion’ 😂 he admitted his decision was influenced by his mate".
A third wrote: "Absolute disgrace. We're supposed to believe it isn't corruption".
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A fourth declared: "He is a man under pressure. Admitted cheating now trying to worm out of it".
From the start of the 2023/24 campaign, he has been Sky Sports' referee analyst on Soccer Saturday.
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