Richard Keys supports report into referees' preferred clubs

Tottenham WHL

The BBC published an investigation into which clubs referees supported.

BeInSport presenter Richard Keys has backed the BBC’s investigation into which clubs Premier League referees support in order to examine whether matches are being allocated fairly.

The television host took to social media to show his support for the publication and stated surprising statistics from the article.

Following the decision to remove Kevin Friend as head official from Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with Stoke City due to his allegiances with title rivals Leicester City, referee bias has come under the spotlight.

According to the article, referees must state which team they support, ensuring they are not appointed to that club’s fixtures. Keith Hackett, the former head of Professional Game Match Officials Limited reportedly told the BBC: "At the beginning of every season the referees' background information is audited.

"They complete a form that includes who they support, the history of if they've played the game and with the addresses where they are residing.

"That gives you a picture that comes into use when you're appointing. It's about ensuring, for example, you wouldn't appoint a Sheffield-based ref for a Sheffield team."

However, information gathered shows that despite Friend having an affiliation with the Premier League leaders Leicester - the city in which he resides - he is also a fan of Bristol City.

In spite of being raised in the south west county, the ref has actually officiated seven Robins games this term, much to Keys’ surprise.

The former Sky Sports pundit took to Twitter to showcase his support into the report.

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