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Gjblues, it hasn’t been massively covered in the media so understand if you haven’t seen it but it’s very strange when you read into it. I don’t think today was a controversy per se but it does need looking into.
Manchester City. Less well known is that the UAE Football Association has held talks with City Football Group chief executive Ferran Soriano about a “framework of joint cooperation” and that the UAE Pro League’s main sponsor is the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), whose board members include City chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak.
In that context, allowing a group of PGMOL officials to fly to the UAE last week to take charge of a match between Sharjah and Al-Ain — Oliver as referee, Stuart Burt and Cook as assistants, England as VAR — looks inadvisable in the extreme. Not because of doubts about integrity among the officials or the authorities in the UAE, but because having referees on the payroll of another league, with close links to the ownership of Premier League clubs, inevitably brings an extra level of scrutiny that match officials really could do without.
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