In news that won’t shock anyone, West Ham appealed the questionable dismissal of Tomas Soucek against Fulham on Saturday night.
After a VAR review, the Czech midfielder received a direct red card from referee Mike Dean in added time for the 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage after a tie-up with Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Replays showed the massive West Ham man grabbed Mitrovic in the face with his elbow as he attempted to maneuver his arm into a different position, but VAR Lee Mason recommended a field test.
Oddly, it appears the exam was recommended due to Soucek’s clenched fist, with the suggestion that it was some kind of violent conduct.
Never one to fear the limelight, Mike Dean chose to fire the 25-year-old after watching multiple reruns of the incident on the field monitor.
Speaking as an expert in Saturday night’s game of the day, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright described the decision as “the worst he has ever seen”.
In a club statement issued on Sunday, West Ham said: “West Ham United has submitted a notice to the Football Association to appeal the red card that Tomas Soucek was presented in Saturday’s Premier League game against Fulham.
“The Czech midfielder was sent off in added time at the end of the second half after coming into contact with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrović.
“Referee Mike Dean was invited to view the incident on the field monitor by VAR manager Lee Mason and ruled that No28’s actions constituted violent conduct.
“The appeal against Souček’s red card will now be examined by an independent regulatory commission of the Football Federation.”
If the call is successful, which – let’s be honest – seems very Likely, Soucek will be available for David Moyes’ FA Cup fifth round match against Manchester United on Tuesday. If the ban is somehow upheld, the influential midfielder will miss this game, as well as Sheffield United and Tottenham’s visits to the Premier League at London Stadium.
This is the second questionable move from VAR-influenced Mike Dean in days, after wrongly ejecting Southampton’s Jan Bednarek against Man Utd at Old Trafford. The Pole was sacked after conceding a penalty despite the lack of contact with Anthony Martial. This decision was successfully overturned.