Mark Halsey column: Man Utd vs Liverpool postponement nothing to do with Michael Oliver

Most of the Premier League talk this past weekend will centre around the incredible scenes that were witnessed at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

On what should have been another fantastic occasion between two of English football’s heavyweights, no football was possible.

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That the game was not played in the circumstances was the right decision, and it is interesting to note a referee’s role in such a situation.

Though he will have been briefed and consulted throughout, the official, Michael Oliver, will have had no input into postponing the Manchester United vs Liverpool game whatsoever.

Mark Halsey

Former Premier League and FIFA referee Mark Halsey is a columnist for

Very simply, any decisions would be made between the police, the match commander, the safety officer of Manchester United Football Club, Trafford Borough Council and the Premier League.

In these rare types of situations, the referee is governed by all of those bodies.

If they say that the game is postponed because of safety issues regarding the players, the surroundings, the fans outside as well, there is little that the referee can do.

On the pitch it is a different matter of course, and it is a shame we did not get to see England’s brightest refereeing talent do what he does best.

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