‘Injury’ forces under-fire Lee Mason to miss Sheff Utd v Liverpool clash

Referee Lee Mason will not be the fourth official for Sunday’s Premier League match between Sheffield United and Liverpool at Bramall Lane.

The official has withdrawn from duties with an injury sustained during Saturday’s controversial match between West Brom and Brighton.

The Hawthorns contest saw Brighton defender Lewis Dunk score a quick free-kick in the first-half, which Mason disallowed before changing his mind and awarding the goal.

However, after VAR checked the goal, Mason had to blow his whistle again to confirm it had been ruled out, sparking angry reactions from the Brighton players.

Dunk described the decision to rule out the goal as “horrendous” and claimed the referee lost control of the game, which the hosts won 1-0.

“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.