Referee Mark Halsey was the victim of severe Twitter abuse following his performance at Anfield yesterday, in which Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers accused the man in black of costing his side the game.
“There were a number of poor decisions that went against us,” Rodgers said after the 2-1 loss. “They cost us the game. It was one of those days when we never got a decision that helped us.”
Halsey drew the ire of Liverpool supports for his decision to send of Jonjo Shelvey in the first half before ignoring Luis Suarez’s appeals for a penalty in the second half and awarding United a late penalty which provided Robin van Persie with the match-winning goal.
Halsey was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009 but recovered and returned to refereeing in March of 2010.
Steven Gerrard and Rogers were both critical of Halsey’s performance in interviews after the match with both men disputing Shelvy’s sending off but Liverpool fans on Twitter chose to vent their frustration with sick messages about his battle with cancer.
A tweet from an account named @Johnwareing1 said, “I hope Mark Halsey gets cancer again and dies” while another from an account named @lfcjohn259 said, “Mark Halsey should’ve died of Cancer.”
Both tweets were met with immediate outrage from other users of Twitter. The post from lfcjohn259 was deleted and the account Johnwareing1 has been removed completely.
The Premier League has not yet commented, though the governing body for referees has offered their support should Halsey require it.