Ex-Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys has slammed the decision to appoint Anthony Taylor as referee for the match between Manchester City and Chelsea this weekend.
Taylor was recently demoted to the Championship after his performance in the game between Wolves and Newcastle, when he gave a penalty for a foul by Hwang Hee-Chan.
The official got into more hot water when he took charge of Coventry City’s fixture against Preston North End last weekend after he awarded another spot-kick. City’s captain Kyle McFadzean was adjudged to have fouled Milutin Osmajic despite minimum contact, and Keys has taken to X (formerly known as Twitter) to say:
“Can someone explain this to me please? Anthony Taylor is relegated to the C’ship for a week – gives another shocking pen – this time against Cov at Preston – then is immediately promoted back to PL for City v Chelsea.”
The PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited), the organisation in charge of referee appointments, are believed to have had no issues with Taylor’s performance in the Coventry/Preston game, but it does raise concerns ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
There is scrutiny on officials following recent controversies
The failure to award Luis Diaz a goal in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Tottenham back in September, as well as the criticism of VAR by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta after the Gunners’ defeat to Newcastle last week, has put refereeing decisions firmly in the spotlight.
Taylor is, of course, one of England’s most experienced referees, having taken charge of matches in World Cups and European Championships. For that reason, his appointment is not a complete surprise, but, if Taylor has a bad game on Sunday, it will be asked why the official was handed the responsibility, considering his recent performances. The PGMOL will be praying that the match goes by without any major incidents.