Controversial referee Mike Dean to make Premier League return after death threats
English referee Mike Dean. [Photo: Courtesy]

English referee Mike Dean will return to officiate in the Premier League this weekend days after he and his family received death threats in a backlash to controversial red card decisions.

Dean will take charge of the Burnley vs West Bromwich Albion clash on Saturday at Turf Moor, having opted out of last weekend’s games.

The English official had requested not to be involved in the subsequent round of Premier League fixtures but took charge of Leicester City’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday.

Southampton in early February asked the Premier League to ban Dean after questionable decisions he made at Old Trafford as they were demolished 9-0 by red-hot Manchester United.

The 52-year-old was targetted after he sent off Southampton defender Jan Bednarek during their defeat at United and West Ham United midfielder Tomas Soucek in their 0-0 draw away to Fulham.

Controversial referee Mike Dean to make Premier League return after death threats
Southampton’s Jan Bednarek reacts after being sent off by referee Mike Dean. [Pool via REUTERS/Phil Noble]

Dean red-carded Southampton midfielder Alexandre Jankewitz after just two minutes, a decision that did not raise eyebrows.

His second red card decision, however, elicited mixed reactions after United striker Anthony Martial went down in the box under close pressure from Saints’ defender Jan Bednarek.

Video footage at the Theatre of Dreams showed Martial had already begun tumbling to the turf before minimal contact was made in a clear dive.

After consulting the VAR and checking the side monitor, Dean sent off Bednarek and awarded a penalty that was slotted home comfortably by playmaker Bruno Fernandes.

Substitute Martial scored twice for United in a result that equalled the club’s 1995 9-0 win over Ipswich Town and Southampton’s defeat by the same scoreline at home to Leicester City in 2019.

Controversial referee Mike Dean to make Premier League return after death threats
Southampton’s Alexandre Jankewitz is shown a red card by referee Mike Dean for a foul on Manchester United’s Scott McTominay. [Pool via REUTERS/Laurence Griffiths]

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