• Premier League

Halsey reportedly considering retirement after threats

ESPN staff
March 19, 2013
Mark Halsey found himself at the centre of a storm on Sunday © Getty Images

Mark Halsey is reported to be considering his future as a referee after receiving threats over his failure to penalise Wigan's Callum McManaman for the tackle that left Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara with suspected ligament damage.

Halsey did not award a free kick for the incident that saw Haidara stretchered off as Newcastle went down to a 2-1 defeat at the DW Stadium. The Sun and The Times report that Halsey has told the Football Association he did not see the incident.

The FA is reviewing footage and could charge the forward on Tuesday, while The Times and The Guardian both claim Newcastle are considering a lawsuit should Haidara face a lengthy absence.

Halsey has been subjected to abuse on Twitter over his handling of the challenge, including death threats, and The Sun reports that he could walk away from the game.

A friend of the referee is quoted as telling the newspaper: "Mark was made aware of one particularly vile message asking for his address and claiming he deserved a death threat.

"Mark loves refereeing and is consistently one of the best in the game but after something like this he is left wondering whether it is all worth it. He didn't even sleep on Sunday. Everyone can see that his view of the incident was blocked."

Halsey was also said to be "disgusted" by comments from former referee Graham Poll, who suggested the 51-year-old - who returned to football in 2010 after a battle with cancer - should call it a day.

Poll told talkSPORT: "I watch games and I see some referees who try their very hardest to run around as best as they possibly can and I get very disappointed when I see someone who doesn't do that. Mark used to be one of the fittest referees in the Premier League. He was incredible. I did fitness tests with him again and again. He was a very, very good referee.

"People asked me why I stopped when I was 42. I'd rather stop refereeing and people say you should have done another couple of years than go on too long. That's why I'm fearing for Mark.

"He's been through a tough time in his life and no one wishes that on anyone. I just hope Mark looks at it and thinks: 'Is it time? Is this a signal to go? Let's bow out with some grace and dignity and go. It's time for me to call it a day.'"

Halsey did receive support from Alan Wiley, another former referee, on Monday.

"It's just one of those situations where at the moment the tackle is made, a player runs along Mark Halsey's path which then blocks his view of the challenge, so Mark doesn't actually see the challenge," he told Sky Sports. "When the ball goes out towards the touchline, Mark will probably think McManaman has played the ball because he cannot see the challenge as it is.

"It is a one in a thousand situation where at the opportune moment, a player runs across his path and unfortunately, that [the foul] gets missed."

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