Gary Neville reacts to shock revelation from ex-referee Mark Halsey

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Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey might have inadvertently opened a can of worms to one of the biggest scandals in English football since the top tier was rebranded in 1992.

Innocently answering a few questions on Twitter, Halsey revealed that he was urged to lie by the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL) about what he had seen during matches he was officiating.

Halsey was reacting in the wake of Sergio Aguero's three-match ban for elbowing Winston Reid last weekend, where footage appeared to show referee Andre Marriner looking at the incident.

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According to the rulebook, if Marriner had seen the clash but failed to act on it, there can be no grounds for retrospective punishment.

Nevertheless, Aguero has been banned and will miss the Manchester derby as a result.

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However, Halsey's revelations are likely to make this saga rumble on for a while yet.

Halsey, who retired three years ago, replied to one user on Twitter and admitted: "I have been in that situation when I have seen an incident and been told to say I haven't seen it."

It's not exactly the biggest surprise ever, but it would appear to confirm that the PGMOL are nowhere near as transparent as they should be.

Gary Neville has been among those who are most shocked by Halsey's admission and has since contacted the ex-official to seek confirmation.

The Sky Sports pundit was duly given it and he now believes the Football Association and Premier League 'have a major issue' on their hands.

Retrospective bans are all too common in the modern game given the countless television replays and different camera angles that can now be examined.

But if Marriner did, in fact, have a clear view of the Aguero-Reid incident, English football is heading towards some very murky water.

After all, this is just one isolated incident. Imagine how many previous situations of a similar ilk have been handled in the same manner...

If officials are being told what they did and did not see during a match, the entire validity of the Premier League will be thrown in doubt.

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Gary Neville
Premier League
Manchester City
Sergio Aguero
Manchester United
Jamie Carragher

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