Keith Hackett, the former head of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, believes that it’s unfair to Anthony Taylor to have him referee the game between Liverpool and Manchester United on Monday at Anfield, as Taylor is from the greater Manchester area.
Taylor, 37, has established himself as one of the best referees in England since getting his start in the Premier League during the 2010/11 season, but Hackett believes someone else should decide the game on Monday instead the Wythenshawe native.
“No-one is questioning Anthony’s integrity or his ability to handle the game,” Hackett said .
“You could argue it’s testimony to his unflappable character and capacity to focus that he’s been appointed to it.
“Taylor is also in form and establishing himself firmly as one of the select group’s best operators.
“But what if something goes wrong for him on the day – as it can for even the finest referees? That’s when the focus on him would be intolerable, especially if a controversial incident has gone in favour of Liverpool and it influences the result.
“If that happens then it would be those who appointed him who must take the blame for taking such an avoidable risk – on a weekend when Mark Clattenburg, the 2016 Champions League final referee, is holding up a board as fourth official in another match.”