Manchester-born official Anthony Taylor has been chosen to referee Sunday’s Premier League clash between Manchester City and Manchester United.
Born in Wythenshawe, Manchester, Taylor is a supporter of local side Altrincham FC and will take charge of his fist Manchester derby at the weekend.
The 40-year-old is Fifa and Uefa listed at took charge of Chelsea vs Arsenal in the 2017 FA Cup final, his second Wembley show-piece event. Taylor tends to verge on the side of leniency and is yet to produce a red card in his 11 matches after showing just one in his 27 league matches last season.
He has historically attracted criticism for being allowed to referee important matches involving United, given he grew up just six miles away from Old Trafford.
All officials must declare who they support and their backgrounds are routinely checked, including addresses, by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) to prevent any bias.
Taylor was in charge of United’s emphatic comeback to beat Newcastle 3-2 in a season-defining performance for Jose Mourinho’s side but was criticised by former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg for not awarding the visitors a penalty while they were leading 2-0 at Old Trafford.
“Newcastle will feel aggrieved that they were not awarded a penalty at 2-0 after a handball by Ashley Young in the 40th minute,” said the Newcastle-born referee. “The Manchester United full back, standing in a two-man defensive wall, deliberately moved his right arm and blocked a free-kick.
“Referee Anthony Taylor should have given a penalty (he didn’t even award a corner) but in his defence, the incident was in a blind spot and there is a reason why he could not see it.”
In 2014 Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was fined £8,000 by the FA for questioning why Bolton-based referee Lee Mason was allowed to officiate his side’s 2-1 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad.
“I was surprised that we are playing in Manchester and we had a referee from Greater Manchester,” Rodgers said. “Hopefully we won’t have a Greater Manchester referee with Liverpool-Manchester games in future.
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