Referee Halsey ‘told to say I did not see incidents on the pitch’

Mark Halsey’s claims that he had been told to say he hadn’t seen incidents by the referees’ body could be a “major issue” for the Football Association and the Premier League, former Manchester United and England star Gary Neville believes.

Mark Hasley
Mark Halsey

Halsey refereed in the Premier League for 14 years between 1999 and 2013, as well as being a FIFA listed official for six years.

In a Twitter discussion about the three-game ban handed down to Sergio Aguero on Friday for an elbow on West Ham’s Winston Reid, Halsey told one user that he had been in that situation:

I have seen an incident and been told to say I haven’t seen it.

@richardajkeys┬áPaul I have been in that situation when I have seen an incident and been told to say I haven’t seen it

– Mark Halsey (@RefereeHalsey) September 2, 2016

Referee Andre Marriner appeared to be looking straight at Aguero and Reid when the incident happened, but the official charge statement from the FA said that Marriner “put in his match report that he had not seen what had happened.”

Halsey, who said the claim was also in his autobiography which was released three years ago, later clarified that he had been given the instruction by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) group, which oversees all refereeing matters in the English game, and not the Football Association or the Premier League.

 

@lee_greenhalgh1 @FA to be Fair to the FA Lee it’s not them, it comes from with in the PGMOL

– Mark Halsey (@RefereeHalsey) September 3, 2016

Neville, now back as a pundit with Sky Sports after a brief period in charge of Valencia, quoted Halsey’s initial tweet and asked:

“Mark is that not corrupt!! I’d like to know who told you to say that!!!”

Mark is that not corrupt!! I’d like to know who told you to say that!!!

– Gary Neville (@GNev2) September 3, 2016

Just a bit!! @FA and @premierleague think you have a major issue on your

hands!!

– Gary Neville (@GNev2) September 3, 2016

I’ve spoken with Mark. Verified the statement . Huge problem!!!

– Gary Neville (@GNev2) September 3, 2016

Asked if the accusations opened a “can of worms”, he replied: “Just a bit!! @FA and @premierleague think you have a major issue on your hands!!”

He then confirmed he had spoken to Halsey and verified the claim was genuine as Halsey’s Twitter account is not verified. He said: “I’ve spoken with Mark. Verified the statement . Huge problem!!!”

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