Mike Dean given next set of Premier League games OFF after receiving death threats following West Ham red card

MIKE DEAN has been given the latest matchday of fixtures off after receiving disgusting death threats.

The experienced referee was showered with horrendous abuse online following his decision to red card West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek at the weekend.

Dean, 52, is expected to take charge of Leicester's FA Cup clash with Brighton tomorrow night.

But he has been left out of the weekend's schedule after asking for a break in the aftermath of the vile threats received by him and his family.

PGMOL boss Mike Riley said: "Threats and abuse of this nature are totally unacceptable and we fully support Mike’s decisions to report these messages his family received to the police.

"Nobody should be victim of abhorrent messages like this. Online abuse is unacceptable in any walk of life and more needs to be done to tackle the problem."

A Merseyside Police spokesperson added: "We can confirm officers are investigating allegations of malicious communications reported today.

"The reports relate to social media accounts and enquiries are ongoing. We monitor the internet, and if we identify any offences we will take action."

Premier League chief Richard Masters, meanwhile, labelled the abuse of Dean as 'inexcusable'.

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."

Soucek's sending off was the third handed out by Dean in the space of four days, having shown Southampton's Alex Jankewitz and Jan Bedanarek red cards in mid-week against Manchester United.

Shocked and shaken by the abuse in the aftermath, Dean opted to contact the police.

The news comes after yet another weekend of racist social media abuse suffered by black players including Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has pledged to bring in tougher sanctions against social media companies for allowing online hate to fester on their platforms.

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