Tomas Soucek speaks out on Mike Dean death threats as West Ham red card overturned

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Tomas Soucek has condemned the sickening abuse that Mike Dean has received in the wake of his decision to send off the Czech international in West Ham’s 0-0 draw at Fulham. The midfielder was given his marching orders following a VAR review after accidentally elbowing Aleksandr Mitrovic in stoppage time.

The Serbian protested Soucek’s innocence, despite theatrically going to the ground, but VAR official Lee Mason urged Dean to take a look on the pitch-side monitor.

Mason pointed out an alleged clenched fist from Soucek and after up to 20 replays of the incident, Dean brandished a red card for violent conduct.

Following the controversial decision, the referee has received a barrage of abuse on social media which has also included death threats.

Soucek has now offered his support to the referee and his family, issuing a statement on Twitter.

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He said: “Whatever decisions are made on the pitch should stay on the pitch.

“I don’t like hearing about it interfering with personal life and I send Mike Dean and his family my support.

“There is no place for abuse of any kind. It is in the past and I’m now focused on the rest of the season.”

The Football Association confirmed earlier today that Soucek’s red card would be overturned following West Ham’s successful appeal.

They said: “Tomas Soucek will be available for West Ham United FC’s next three fixtures following a successful claim of wrongful dismissal.”

Soucek revealed his satisfaction at the verdict on social media after the ruling.

He said: “I am glad my red card against Fulham has been overturned. I’ve checked it, I’ve gone over 200 games without a single red card. My entire career.

“I am looking forward to helping the team in the important games this week! Thanks for your support!”

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters hit out at abuse Dean has received in recent days in a powerful statement.

He said: “It is inexcusable that Mike Dean and his family have received online abuse, including death threats, as a result of doing his job officiating at a Premier League match.

“It is completely unacceptable that we are seeing abusive behaviour aimed at players, managers and match officials regularly on social media platforms.

“Mike and his family have our full support in reporting this to the police. This once again highlights the need for greater proactive intervention from social media companies to stop online abuse and identify offenders.”

The Merseyside police are now investigating the abuse received by Dean and his family.

He will take charge of Leicester’s FA Cup tie with Brighton Wednesday but has asked to miss this weekend’s Premier League fixtures in light of recent events.

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