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Question Number: 30772

League Specific 9/17/2016

RE: Adult

Terence Farrell of ALTRINCHAM, Greater Manchester England asks...

In relation to Referees, are they allowed to officiate in matches that involve the City or town in which they were born?
The reason that I ask is that Anthony Taylor who was born in Manchester(Wikipedia website)and resides in Trafford the same borough that Manchester United's ground is loacated,has regularly over recent years refereed both United and City.How can this be allowed?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Terence
Referees act to a formal code of conduct which includes declaring conflicts of interest. Living in an area / city is not a conflict of interest for PGMOL the professional referee body and unless a referee has some association with a club then he would not be precluded from refereeing teams in that city.
Referee Mike Dean was originally appointed to referee the 2006 FA Cup final at the Millennium Stadium on 13 May 2006 but the Football Association later replaced him with Alan Wiley after concerns were raised about Dean's ability to be impartial towards Liverpool, who are based near his hometown in Wirral. The FA has a differing policy of not appointing refs to games involving clubs from their area. However the FA did not change Anthony Taylors appointment in the 2016 FA Cup semi final between United and Everton despite complaints from Everton.
Commenting on another referee change due to location the managers of Arsenal and Spurs were quoted as follows
Arsene Wenger said: *Im completely against that decision. The referees are professional people. You re supposed to be impartial whatever happens so, on some level, (it appears that) someone doesnt believe completely that the referee is impartial. Im surprised and disappointed by that decision. This sets a dangerous precedent.
Pochettino of Spurs added to that by saying *I trust in all the referees and the decision maybe is difficult to understand for all the people. But it wasnt our decision. If Kevin Friend was the referee on Monday, I was happy. It is not a problem. I agree with Arsene. It is important to keep the integrity of the referee and always back the referee. They are human and can make mistakes like us but it is important for the next time to behave naturally and to show the referee the trust and respect.*
I am certain Anthony Taylor must have no affinity with clubs in Manchester. If PGMOL and the FA are happy to appoint him to whatever game those bodies has weighed up all the issues and decided he is the best official on the day for that game.
In my own town there are five local clubs and I referee games involving all five. I have no connection with any with any of them. If I had I would not officiate any game where I had a conflict of interest.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Terrance,
IF this was a WC match where ENGLAND was against Spain then there is a conflict as nationalism does factor into perceived conflict. Regionalism or country or city affiliation is the price we pay to have a local referee stable to choose from. ONLY if there were personal interests as in owner ship of club or possibly a family relative within the organization would there be reasonable circumstances to warrant suspension of duties. The FA has a policy of not appointing referees to officiate in there home areas if it can be avoided but if the PGMOL has chosen Mr. Taylor to do so they must feel comfortable in doing so without creating the appearance of impropriety .

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