Mark Halsey column: Premier League referees might struggle now fans are back

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There wasn’t too much controversy in the Community Shield this weekend.

It’s a game I’ve reffed, and it can be nervous for the officials, being the opening day of the season and a showpiece event.

I see that Pep Guardiola got very annoyed with referee Paul Tierney, and argued vehemently with fourth official Peter Banks, rightly being given a yellow card.

I thought Brendan Rodgers was also very fortunate when he kicked that water bottle hard and high.

Had it hit Banks, who knows what sort of injury would’ve occurred as a result.

Managers need to set an example in the technical area because there will be kids watching.

For the penalty incident, I thought Nathan Ake was very naive, losing the ball before making a rash challenge.

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It was a clear penalty, no complaints whatsoever, and was good refereeing by Paul Tierney who waited before making the decision.

On another note, it was fantastic to have the crowd back in, with the atmosphere. Same as in the EFL and the Championship.

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

It could be a bit difficult for referees with the crowds back too, because they’ve not had that pressure for nearly two years.

Overall it was a good weekend, and I can’t wait for the Premier League to start.

More Stories Brendan Rodgers Mark Halsey Nathan Ake Paul Tierney Pep Guardiola Peter Banks