The Football Association (FA) announced a week ago that English referee Paul Tierney will officiate the 2022-23 FA Cup final. Premier League champions Manchester City face Carabao Cup winners Manchester United in this Saturday’s FA Cup final. In what is a Manchester Derby in the competition after 12 years, it is fitting that the Manchester-born Tierney gets to officiate the match.
Alongside Paul Tierney, Neil Davies and Scott Ledger will be joining as the assistant referees. Meanwhile, Peter Bankes has been appointed as the fourth official and Adrian Holmes will be the reserve assistant referee. In addition to this, David Coote and Simon Long will be the VAR and assistant VAR referees. However, FA’s decision to appoint Tierney as the match official has raised some eyebrows.
Official: Paul Tierney will referee the FA Cup Final with David Coote on VAR. pic.twitter.com/8Vrxk7QvVp
— centredevils. (@centredevils) June 2, 2023
Paul Tierney made some questionable calls in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham back in 2021. During the match, Tierney had shown Liverpool full-back Andy Robertson a red card after a VAR check. Although Tierney overlooked Tottenham star Harry Kane’s lunge on Robertson and also refused to check it on the VAR.
The decision led to former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg accusing Tierney of robbing Liverpool of a win. Clattenburg said, “If Harry Kane’s lunge on Andy Robertson isn’t a red card, then I’m not sure what is. Kane’s indiscretion earlier in the game was worse.”
“Just because you’re England captain doesn’t mean you have any special leeway to commit bad challenges. Where’s the consistency? How can VAR tell Tierney to go look at this incident, but not the one involving Kane?” Moreover, Mark Clattenburg isn’t the only one who is displeased with the 42-year-old referee’s decisions.
Paul Tierney’s previous controversial decisions
Back in September 2022, questions were once again raised over Paul Tierney’s decisions during Manchester United‘s 3-1 victory over Arsenal. Arsenal‘s early 12th-minute goal was canceled after a VAR check where Arsenal skipper Martin Odegaard appeared to foul United midfielder Christen Eriksen. Odegard blasted Tierney after the match saying, “In my opinion, it is never a foul.”
Martin Odegaard questions referee Paul Tierney at half-time 👀
Were Arsenal unlucky to have a goal disallowed? 👇 pic.twitter.com/ljHcnCXfNI
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 4, 2022
He further said, “For me, it is very, very soft. You can always make it look worse on camera. But it’s never a foul and the referee said play on so it is frustrating.” Fast forward to this year, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gave Paul Tierney a piece of his mind after Liverpool’s nail-biting 4-3 win against Tottenham. Klopp blasted Tierney’s decision of giving a foul against Mohammed Salah in the build-up to Tottenham’s third goal.
“I really don’t know what this man has with us?” 😠
Jurgen Klopp on referee Paul Tierney. pic.twitter.com/bbQ150RjMF
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 30, 2023
Klopp said, “How can they give a foul by Mohamed Salah [before Spurs’ third goal]? We have our history with [Paul] Tierney, I really don’t know what this man has against us, he has said there are no problems but that cannot be true.” However, PGMOL, the body responsible for Premier League referees, issued a statement assuring its support for Tierney.
The PGMOL have released a statement after Jurgen Klopp’s comments about referee Paul Tierney following Liverpool’s 4-3 victory over Tottenham. pic.twitter.com/QNJt1wEBf3
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 1, 2023
The statement read, “Having fully reviewed the audio of referee Paul Tierney from today’s fixture, we can confirm he acted in a professional manner throughout, including when issuing the caution to the Liverpool manager. So, therefore, we strongly refute any suggestion that Tierney’s actions were improper.” However, soccer fans are still not convinced with Tierney officiating the vital 2022-23 FA Cup final clash.
Soccer fans react to Paul Tierney’s appointment as the match official for the FA Cup final
FA’s announcement to have Paul Tierney as the main referee for this Saturday’s FA Cup clash between Manchester City and Manchester United has caught a lot of flak from the fans. As soon as the news became public, the Internet was filled with a wide array of reactions from fans.
Here are some hilarious Twitter reactions:
We have a saying in my family
“never trust a referee that’s bald” I will take back everything if united win tomorrow 😂
— Katy🏴 (@Katy_2k4) June 2, 2023
As long as it’s not Taylor or Oliver we have a chance
— BrandonSX (@brandondidier11) June 2, 2023
Well I just want to congrat City on winning the FA Cup
— Albin 🇽🇰 (@Albininho7) June 2, 2023
Paul Tierney openly favours Man City
— Ankur Bagai (@ankurbagai) June 2, 2023
Despite the negative reactions, Paul Tierney is “pleased” with FA’s decision. Tierney said, “To referee the FA Cup Final is one of those things that you strive to do and it’s always been one of my targets, but it still takes a bit of time to sink in.” He further said that it would be a great honor for him to officiate the final and that he is looking forward to a great game.