Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has admitted Callum McManaman’s awful challenge on Newcastle United left-back Massadio Haidara was the biggest mistake of his career, in an exclusive with The Sun via The Chronicle.
Halsey added the incident led to him retiring from official duties at the end of the 2012/2013 season. Despite finishing fifth the year beforehand, Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side were locked in a struggle for Premier League survival, and succumbed to a devastating 2-1 defeat at the DW Stadium.
The result was made even worse by the fact Haidara had to be stretchered off after a knee-high lunge from Wigan’s winger McManaman.
Writing in a column for The Sun, Halsey stated “I remember the game in March 2013 at Wigan’s DW Stadium vividly to this day and it still hurts me.”
“I made mistakes in my career but none as massive as this one.”
“In fact, my error was so bad it made me consider retiring and I hung up my whistle at the end of the season.”
He concluded “Newcastle fans have always given me stick since but I only missed McManaman’s wild tackle because Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa blocked my view. Haidara was carried off on a stretcher and ended up in hospital but there was no player reaction to the challenge at the time.”
After moving to Tyneside from AS Nancy for £2.25 back in 2013, the Mali international made over 50 appearances for Pardew’s Black and Whites, and managed to avoid any nasty injury from the potential career-ending tackle. The Independent reported at the time Haidara was very fortunate to escape with a hefty amount of bruising to his left leg alongside Dave Whelan’s incredulous claims that the Latics player had got the ball cleanly.
Predictably some Magpies have reacted to Halsey’s comments on Twitter, with one supporter remarking it “was a massive mistake but he seems very sincere.” Another called the debacle “nonsense.”
Take a peek at some of the different reactions down below…
The nonsense part of it is one of the assistants seeing the tackle and not saying anything. What are they there for if not that exact situation?
— San Marino (@LolitaWantedIt) March 25, 2020
Fair do’s. Was a massive mistake but he seems very sincere here. Didn’t realise it led him to retire.
— jack moorehead (@jacko505) March 25, 2020
I was at the game as well, we could see it from other end of the pitch in away end how bad it was
— Alex (@ANicolsonphoto) March 25, 2020
Referees make mistakes. It was a big one to make admittedly. But the bigger issue was Martinez and Whelan staunchly defending the challenge and the player, when he’d been sent off in the reserves a month earlier for something very similar..
— Adam Gray (@AdamGra95608877) March 25, 2020
Fair play to @RefereeHalsey though, I tweeted him a while back, he replied acknowledging his mistake, he’s a top man, the assistant that day needs to be held accountable also mind as he openly said he was looking straight at it and seen nothing
— Dayle Barron (@DayleBarron) March 25, 2020
Couple of things – if he didn’t see it as his view was blocked – why the discipline? The assistance should have been demoted as he saw it
Also – sky floor manager speaking to the ref about things during a match – cant be allowed surely? After – maybe but not half time
— DavidM (@davidm176) March 25, 2020
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