Premier League referee Mark Halsey has made a complaint to Greater Manchester Police after receiving abusive tweets in the aftermath of Liverpool‘s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
Halsey, who suffered from throat cancer in 2009, angered the home support with some debatable decisions, namely the sending off of Jonjo Shelvey and his decision to award Manchester United a penalty.
Two fans in particular however took thing too far when they took to social network twitter to voice their outrage in abusive fashion.
One post, from an account named @johnwareing1, read: “I hope Mark Halsey gets cancer again and d*es” while another from @lfcjohn259 read: “Mark Halsey should’ve d**d of cancer.”
Halsey has asked the police to investigate the subsequent messages, a Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) spokesman has confirmed.
The tweets were immediately condemned by fellow users of the network and the national secretary of Prospect, Alan Leighton, has also released a statement expressing his trade union’s disgust regarding the tweets.
His statement read: “Prospect wholeheartedly condemns the unacceptable abuse aimed at Mark Halsey on Twitter. The comments made by a very small minority will be seen as beneath contempt by all decent people.
“The main concern now is for Mark and his family, who are receiving the support of his employer, PGMOL. Prospect will also provide any assistance as required.”
The abusive Twitter users were also condemned by PGMO, which provides referees to the Premier League, offering support to Halsey if and when it is required.
Their statement read: “PGMO abhors any abuse of match officials whether that is in stadia or outside of it.
“Our main concern is towards Mark and his family, and as with all match officials, there is a backroom team who are there for them.
“This includes a sports psychologist, who has worked extensively with the Select Group including Mark over the past few years.
“Mark has already benefited from the support of all of his Select Group colleagues and they will continue to back him this week.
“None of the Select Group match officials are on social media.”