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13th Feb 2023

Howard Webb calls emergency meeting with Premier League officials

Callum Boyle

Premier League

Webb has called an emergency meeting

The new head of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) Howard Webb has called an emergency meeting with all officials following a weekend to forget in the Premier League.

A number of high profile errors – including numerous VAR blunders – took place in games all across the top flight as the pressure to improve the standard of officiating increased even more.

One of the biggest incident was VAR official Lee Mason’s failure to draw the correct lines to adjudge if a Brentford player was offside for their equaliser in their 1-1 draw against Arsenal on Saturday.

There was more VAR drama in Crystal Palace’s draw against rivals Brighton and Hove Albion as the Seagulls were controversially denied a winning goal as the man in control at Stockley Park, John Brooks, drew the offside lines from the wrong defender.

Brooks is due to be on VAR duties for the Merseyside derby on Monday (February 13) night and Arsenal’s top of the table clash against Manchester City on Wednesday, however the PGMOL have refused to comment on if he will remain in place for both games.

According to the Daily Mail Webb, who returned to the UK last year has ordered all Premier League referees, assistant referees and VAR officials to meet on Tuesday with attendance rumoured to be compulsory as they bid to iron out the many problems occurring.

Webb was forced to contact Arsenal and Brighton to “acknowledge significant errors in the VAR process” via the PGMOL.

Their statement added: “Both incidents, which were due to human error and related to the analysis of offside situations, are being thoroughly reviewed.”

Brighton acknowledged the PGMOL’s statement on Sunday and confirmed that they had accepted an apology.

“As was confirmed to the club by PGMOL last night, a serious error was made in disallowing Pervis Estupinan’s goal at Crystal Palace yesterday afternoon,” they said.

“The lines drawn in the VAR room to determine whether Pervis was in an offside position were drawn incorrectly, and the goal should have stood.

“While hugely disappointed by the error, the club has accepted PGMOL’s apology and will not be making any further comment.”

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