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DEAKIN CONCERN AT REFEREE CRITICS
Mark Whitby FIFA official Mark Whitby is one of several referees to come in for public criticism from managers [welsh-premier.com photo]
WELSH Premier League secretary John Deakin has expressed his concern at growing media criticism of referees by club managers and officials.
Afan Lido have been asked to explain their comments about FIFA referee Mark Whitby after asking for the Swansea official to be replaced for the steeltown derby clash on New Year's Day.
Robinson and Whitby had not seen eye to eye on a number of occasions in recent seasons and the Lido manager already faces an FAW charge after Whitby reported him for alleged abusive comments made after a league match in November.
But the appeal fell on deaf ears as Whitby took charge as planned – and enjoyed an afternoon relatively free of controversy, although Lido's Chris Pridham was dismissed for two yellow cards.
"I thought the referee got almost every decision spot-on and he certainly lived up to his reputation as being one of the best young officials around," said Port Talbot manager Wayne Davies.
"No one could complain with any of the bookings or the sending off because the players made it easy for him.
"He was put under unnecessary pressure going into the game and I thought he refereed the game as it developed and didn't pre-conceive any of his decisions.
"Personally, I don't think managers should be able to pick and choose which referees they want.
"I know Lido haven't had much luck with him in the past and I thought he may have gone into Saturday's game trying to be a bit too fair but that didn't happen."
5 January 2021