Mike Dean opted to send the 25-year-old off after watching several replays of the incident on the pitch-side monitor.
In news that will come as a shock to no-one, West Ham have appealed Tomas Soucek’s questionable dismissal against Fulham on Saturday evening.
Following a VAR review, the Czech midfielder was shown a straight red card by referee Mike Dean in injury time of the 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage after a coming together with Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Replays showed the towering West Ham man had caught Mitrovic in the face with his elbow as he attempted to manoeuvre his arm into a different position, but the VAR Lee Mason recommended an on-field review.
Bizarrely, it seems the review was recommended because of Soucek’s clenched fist, with the suggestion that that somehow constituted violent conduct.
Never one to shy away from the limelight, Mike Dean opted to send the 25-year-old off after watching several replays of the incident on the pitch-side monitor.
Speaking as a pundit on Match of the Day on Saturday night, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright described the decision as ‘the worst he had ever seen’.
In a club statement released on Sunday, West Ham said: “West Ham United have submitted notice to The Football Association to appeal the red card Tomas Soucek was shown in Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Fulham.
“The Czech midfielder was sent off in added time at the end of the second half after coming into contact with Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrović.
“Referee Mike Dean was asked to look at the incident on the pitch-side monitor by VAR official Lee Mason and decreed that the No28’s actions constituted violent conduct.
“The appeal against Souček’s red card will now be reviewed by an independent regulatory commission at the Football Association.”
If the appeal is successful, which – let’s be honest – seems highly likely, Soucek will be available for David Moyes’ side’s FA Cup fifth round tie against Manchester United on Tuesday.
If the ban is somehow upheld, the influential midfielder will miss that game, as well as the Premier League visits of Sheffield United and Tottenham to the London Stadium.
This is Mike Dean’s second questionable VAR-influenced red card decision in a matter of days, after he wrongly sent off Southampton’s Jan Bednarek against Man Utd at Old Trafford.
The Pole was dismissed after conceding a penalty despite not making any contact with Anthony Martial. That decision was successfully overturned.