Mike Dean has been penalised for his handling of penalty decisions
The Premier League has dropped referee Mike Dean from the roster of games this weekend for penalties he awarded in opening games of the new season.
The first one took place during Man City's 4-1 win over Stoke, when he pointed to the spot for Raheem Sterling's block on Ryan Shawcross during a corner. He also gave a penalty against Bournemouth's Charlie Daniels for an alleged shirt tug on Christian Benteke.
The Premier League has introduced a new directive this year which aims at clamping down on the number of offences involving pushes, shirt pulling and fouls at set pieces.
But despite Dean's apparent adherence to the new rules, his decisions were brought before PGMOL - the body which polices Premier League referees and officials. As a result, the top referee will not be officiating at a game this weekend.
The timing of Dean's dismissal is interesting, given the comments published by former Referee Mark Halsey last weekend. In a conversation on social media, Halsey said that he had been told to decline mentioning any incidents he saw in a match that he had refereed in.
I've spoken with Mark. Verified the statement . Huge problem!!! https://t.co/1tuSR9asUt— Gary Neville (@GNev2) September 3, 2016