Ex-referee Halsey accused of ‘betrayal’

Former referee Graham Poll has accused recently retired official Mark Halsey of ‘betrayal’, ESPN has reported, following a series of comments where he criticised the standard of refereeing in the Premier League.

Halsey, who is now a television pundit, launched an attack on the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, accusing them of failing to pick the correct referees for high-profile matches, adding that they created an ‘atmosphere of fear and paranoia’.

He also implied that a number of the Select Group referees were not good enough to take charge of Premier League games, saying that some are ‘not up to it’.

Quoted in the Sun, Halsey, who ended his career in May after 14 years of officiating in the top-flight, said of the PGMOL: “They are running the whole show on an apparent power trip while creating an atmosphere of fear and paranoia. That is not helping the weaker officials to improve, and the system often confuses and frequently frustrates the best referees, who get mixed messages about what is expected of them.

Poll, who himself retired at the end of the 2006-07 season, hit back, telling Talksport: “He is 100 percent betraying what paid him a living he would never have earned as the warehouse manager he was or the taxi driver he was.

The refereeing fraternity are absolutely appalled at what he is doing. He hasn’t thought it through. Mark has got to take a long, hard look at himself. He won’t. I know the guy. I have known him for years. He is that type of character, I’m afraid.

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