Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has accused the governing body for selection of match referees (PGMOL) of double standards.
He has also suggested they have made a rod for their own back following on from Kevin Friend being relieved of his duties for the Stoke City vs Tottenham Hotspur clash due to Friend's Leicester City connection.
“Every referee has to declare who they support, and I was surprised by the PGMOL anyway for putting themselves in that position knowing that Kevin lives in Leicester. But then again, we’ve got Anthony Taylor, who lives less than two miles from Old Trafford, and he’s refereeing Manchester United v Aston Villa on Saturday. So what’s the difference? He lives two minutes from Man United, yet he still referees them."
Whist Halsey doesn't question Oliver's integrity, he claims there is no difference between the two match appointments:
“Then you’ve got Michael Oliver, a massive Newcastle United fan, who referees Crystal Palace v Norwich. Listen, I’m not questioning Michael’s integrity because he is a great referee, but Norwich had a clear penalty with Delaney bringing down Jarvis, so what’s the difference?"
The PGMOL have certainly left themselves open to criticism and future allegations of favouritism, with Halsey's comments bringing to light just how poorly the situation has been managed.