London [UK], February 9 (ANI): West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek on Tuesday said that he is angered by seeing the online abuse being hurled at referee Mike Dean.
Dean had controversially sent off Soucek in West Ham's match against Fulham in the Premier League last weekend.
At the time, Soucek had thought that the red card was a bit too harsh, but he hasn't condoned fans sending death threats to a referee, reported Goal.com.
"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," tweeted Soucek.
Soucek's controversial red card against Fulham has now been overturned on appeal and the Czech midfielder has avoided a three-match ban for catching Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic with his elbow.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has also similarly defended Dean and he said that there is no excuse that the referee and his family are being subjected to online abuse.
"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," said Masters in a statement.
"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," he added.
West Ham is currently at the sixth position in Premier League standings with 39 points from 23 matches. The side will next take on Sheffield United in the Premier League on Monday. (ANI)