VAR Chief Mike Dean Admits Protecting “Mate” Ref From Backlash Over 96th Min Equalizer Howler

In a shocking admission, former top referee Mike Dean has owned up to shielding pal Anthony Taylor from further grief over an egregious 96th minute decision that denied Chelsea a famous win_Mike Dean giving instructions during a match
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In a shock­ing admis­sion, for­mer top ref­er­ee Mike Dean has owned up to shield­ing pal Antho­ny Tay­lor from fur­ther grief over an egre­gious 96th minute deci­sion that denied Chelsea a famous win.

As Tot­ten­ham grabbed an incred­i­ble stop­page time equal­iz­er against their Lon­don rivals, TV replays showed a clear shirt pull in the buildup — but Tay­lor and VAR failed to intervene.

And now Dean, in the hot­seat as VAR offi­cial that day, has spilled the beans on why. Cit­ing Tay­lor’s tough assign­ments send­ing Con­te and Tuchel to the show­ers, Dean did­n’t want to pile on the pres­sure by send­ing his “mate” to review his major mistake.

It was a mas­sive error that let Spurs off the hook. But in a bid to pro­tect Tay­lor from extra wrath, Dean famous­ly flubbed the obvi­ous foul, blow­ing off a clear red card.

The bomb­shell admis­sion rais­es seri­ous ques­tions about whether friend­ships impact­ed one of the most con­tro­ver­sial VAR deci­sions of the sea­son. And it opens Dean up to fresh crit­i­cism for pri­or­i­tiz­ing rela­tion­ships over get­ting the call right.

As ten­sions mount around ref­er­ee­ing trans­paren­cy, this saga proves old boy’s net­works in the offi­ci­at­ing ranks des­per­ate­ly need reform. One thing is clear — the Pre­mier League can­not afford many more cozy VAR fails decid­ing top flight matches.

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