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03rd Sep 2016

Former Premier League ref claims he was told to lie about seeing controversial incidents

Mark Halsey says he was told to lie by the PGMOL

Kevin Beirne

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has make some rather shocking accusations about English football’s disciplinary process.

On Saturday morning, the 55-year-old claimed on Twitter that he had been instructed by the governing body of referees, PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited), to lie about whether or not he had seen certain incidents.

Halsey was quick to make it clear though that it was not the Premier League or the FA who had instructed him to lie, but the PGMOL.

Halsey’s 14-year career as a Premier League ref was interrupted in during the 2009/10 season as he underwent treatment for cancer, although he ultimately returned and continued officiating until he retired in 2013.

And his comments are sure to cause shockwaves across the national sport, as former Manchester United captain Gary Neville says he spoke directly with Halsey and verified that he meant what he said.

The comments came during a discussion of Sergio Aguero’s recent charge of violent conduct for an apparent elbow on West Ham defender Winston Reid, which would put him out of the Manchester derby next weekend.

Fans have claimed the ban is a sign of corruption within the FA and Manchester City are expected to appeal the charge on the basis that they believe the referee on the day, Andre Marriner, had seen the incident and chosen not to act on it.

Under current rules, a player cannot be punished for something after the match if the referee saw it happen and determined that it did not deserve any punishment at the time.

But if Halsey’s claims are to be believed, then it is possible that Marriner was instructed to lie about seeing the incident in order to confirm a ban for Aguero following the uproar about the incident on social media.

There was a mixed reaction from Twitter in the wake of Halsey’s comments.

But it also opened the doors to the king of all puns…

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