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Richard Keys says Martin Atkinson should be fired over Cristiano Ronaldo penalty calls

Martin Atkinson

“Wouldn’t it be nice to hear those words ‘Martin Atkinson – you’re fired’?”

Richard Keys has said that Martin Atkinson should be fired over his performance this weekend in the Premier League.

Keys, the former Sky Sports broadcaster, tore into Atkinson in his weekly blog, where he said that “everybody at the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) is scared of him”.


At the London Stadium on Sunday, Atkinson denied Cristiano Ronaldo of three potential penalties, with one in particular seeming a very harsh decision, before awarding West Ham a last minute penalty, which Mark Noble missed.

Richard Keys on Martin Atkinson

He wrote: “What was Martin Atkinson thinking? What didn’t he see when Ronaldo was twice fouled in the box. Not once – twice. We’ll never know, of course, because the PGMOL will ensure that their apologists – Mssrs Walton/Foy/Gallagher & co are all on message when they send them out today – ‘be sure you defend Martin’ they’ll have been told.

“But there is no defence. And they’d get more respect if they admitted Atkinson fouled up – and not just at West Ham. He had a beast of a weekend. He needs a ‘rest’. Alan Sugar would go further. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear those words ‘Martin Atkinson – you’re fired’? He really shouldn’t be allowed to work this week/weekend. We’ve all got to be responsible for mistakes we make if the office and pay a price as a result. Why not Atkinson?

“I’ll tell you why. Because everybody at the PGMOL is scared of him and I also know why. He’s somehow got the impression that he’s our top ref. He behaves as such. He’s not. And he shouldn’t be allowed to.”

Elsewhere in Keys’ blog, he tore into Spurs striker Harry Kane for his performance against Chelsea, saying that he has “mince in his brains”.

Martin Atkinson

Ronaldo denied penalty at West Ham

After the game on Sunday, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Ronaldo was denied two “stonewall” penalties, while there was also an incident earlier in the second half where West Ham would have felt very hard done by not to win a penalty.

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