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Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 16:56 UK

FA defends Riley Cup appointment

Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Sunday, 19 April Kick-off: 1600 BST
Coverage: Full match commentary on BBC Radio Merseyside 95.8 FM

Cahil (left) is sent off by Mike Riley (right)
Riley sent off Everton's Tim Cahill in the Merseyside derby last September

The FA has defended its decision to appoint Mike Riley to referee Sunday's FA Cup semi-final between Everton and Manchester United.

Everton manager David Moyes has questioned the choice of Riley to officiate the match after it was suggested he was a United supporter.

"All our referees are fair, unbiased and objective," said an FA spokesman.

"Mike Riley is one of our top officials and we are 100% confident he will do a good job on Sunday."

Riley was appointed to referee the match at Wembley after original choice Steve Bennett withdrew due to illness.

I think they can be influenced, I think that has been seen in a couple of games I have been involved in recently

David Moyes

But he has upset Moyes with a number of decisions during previous matches involving Everton - notably in 2003 when he awarded a controversial penalty to Manchester United in the final game of the season that cost Everton a place in the Uefa Cup.

"A member of the press asked me if Mike Riley is a Manchester United supporter - I think that is something you would need to bring up with the FA," Moyes told the official Everton website.

"It is something that one or two managers would have something to say about."

At the beginning of the season the FA launched their Respect campaign - part of which was to promote better behaviour towards referees.


This has been undermined by a number of outbursts from managers who are not only angry at what they consider poor decisions.

Some have also suggested there is unequal treatment from some officials who favour big teams.

Moyes said that in general he believes referees do a good job but suggested they are fallible.

"Referees in this country are very honest. They try to get the decisions right," he said.

"I think they can be influenced, I think that has been seen in a couple of games I have been involved in recently."

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see also
Man Utd v Everton
16 Apr 09 |  FA Cup
When Everton won the FA Cup
17 Apr 09 |  FA Cup
Baines positive ahead of Cup semi
15 Apr 09 |  Everton
Jagielka eager for FA Cup clash
14 Apr 09 |  Everton
Everton 0-2 Liverpool
27 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Man Utd 1-0 Everton
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Everton 1-1 Man Utd
25 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Stoke 2-3 Everton
14 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Mowbray irritated by 'pally' refs
29 Jan 09 |  Football
Pulis anger at unequal treatment
07 Feb 09 |  Stoke
FA to act over respect for refs
11 Nov 08 |  Football
Time to rebuild respect, says Wilkie
04 Sep 08 |  Football

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