Mark Lee Armstrong Smith

Hackett: Referee should have been dropped

31 Mar., 2014 5:49 PM GMT

Former referees' chief Keith Hackett has hit out at the decision not to drop Andre Marriner for his two big mistakes last weekend.
Hackett also stated that he feels the standard of refereeing in the Premier League has dropped significantly in recent years.
The former manager of Professional Game Match Officials Limited believes the backing of Marriner, who took charge of Southampton's win over Newcastle yesterday, sends out the wrong message.
He argues that it was unfair on Marriner himself, who wrongly dismissed Kieran Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in Arsenals clash with Chelsea last weekend - as neither of them should have been sent off.
"Currently the standard of performance by select referees has fallen and one must question the management expertise that has gone into this decision," said Hackett.
"By their actions, are PGMOL supporting on field error? Would it have been better to have given Andre, a nice guy, a couple of fourth official roles to recover and win back his clearly shattered confidence?
"Or is the £10m that is committed to the development of refereeing standards promoting blandness, non accountability and lack of public support?
"The fans are clearly not happy."
Hackett who bossed England's referees for five years up to 2009 added: "It does not take anyone involved in our great game to understand that Andre made two big mistakes.
"The sending off in law was incorrect as a goal had not been denied because the ball was going out of play when handled.
"Then mistaken identity came into play, so it's a real surprise Andre being appointed a week later."