Former Premier League referee Graham Poll has defended the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) decision to appoint Manchester-born referee Anthony Taylor for Monday’s battle between arch rivals Liverpool and Manchester United.
Despite living six miles away from Old Trafford, Poll doesn’t believe Taylor will have any bias for the fixture that will be broadcast live around the world.
Writing in The Mail, Poll said: “Anthony Taylor is a trusted member of the select group of referees and one it’s most senior officials. His appointment to referee Monday evening’s Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester United should certainly not raise any eyebrows despite him living and working in the Manchester area.
“Taylor has already taken charge of Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Southampton in the Premier League this season and refereed them three times last season and Liverpool four times.
“The season before he did United three times and Liverpool on five occasions. Neither team have won or lost all of those games. Referees can rightly officiate any teams that they do not support and why not?”
He added: “Our referees are professional and have huge credibility to referee any game with impartiality something that other Countries could not always say. They will continue to make mistakes, as we all do in our professional lives. However, none are due to any bias or affected by where they live and to suggest otherwise is a slight on their characters.”