Lewis Dunk wants referee Lee Mason to admit his “horrendous” handling of Brighton’s disallowed goal during the 1-0 defeat to West Brom.
Seagulls captain Dunk took a quick free-kick which caught Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone by surprise to make it 1-1 on Saturday.
However, the match then descended into confusion. Mason, who had blown his whistle again just before the ball hit the back of the net, disallowed the goal.
He then gave it, before going to VAR and disallowing the goal again.
“It’s embarrassing,” Dunk told Sky Sports. “It’s a horrendous decision, I said to the ref can I take it, he blew his whistle and I took it.
“Just because there was so much pressure from the bench. Why doesn’t he come and speak to the press like me? Never, they hide behind their bubble.
“I don’t think he knew what he was doing. He gave the goal, why did he give it? I don’t know why VAR was getting involved, he said ‘goal’… you can look on the video if you want.”
Dunk added that he felt it was a “fact” that Mason lost control of the game.
Indeed, the drama at the Hawthorns is not the first time Mason has faced harsh criticism for his officiating this season.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo received a fine for branding the referee unfit to oversee a Premier League game.
Potter as bemused as Dunk over Mason
Brighton head coach Graham Potter added: “As far as I know Lewis Dunk asked take the free-kick quickly and the referee said yes.
“In between that there was another whistle. I don’t know what that whistle was for,” Potter told Sky Sports
“It would be nice for a bit more clarification. I don’t know what the second whistle is for. I don’t understand that.
“The confusion is on the pitch and it gets worse when someone outside this area is making the decisions. It is what it is.”
Lewis Dunk curls a free kick into the net with Sam Johnstone still lining up his wall – but the whistle was blown… twice
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 27, 2021
VAR controversy aside, Brighton squandered the chance to take all three points after hitting the bar and post with penalties in either half.
“We’ve not helped ourselves with the two penalties so I cannot put it all down to that [disallowed goal],” Potter added.
“We need to improve and get better at that [taking penalties]. We’re never going to get two better chances. We have to stay calm.”
Brighton return to action on Saturday when they host Leicester on the south coast.