SUNDERLAND fans’ bogeyman Kevin Friend has been appointed to referee Liverpool vs Sunderland on March 26.
The ref became no friend of Wearsiders last year when he handed Black Cats defender Wes Brown a controversial red card in a Premier League match against Stoke.
Gus Poyet described the decision as “difficult to accept” and the red card was eventually lifted after appeal.
In February 2010, Friend issued red cards to Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole and David Meyler during an away match against Portsmouth.
Portsmouth both Avram Grant was charged by the Football Association with improper conduct for confronting Friend at half-time over a number of the official’s decisions during his team’s eventual 1–1 draw
Portsmouth had two penalty appeals dismissed by Friend, who earlier in the match had dismissed Portsmouth’s Ricardo Rocha and simultaneously awarded Sunderland a penalty kick.
Friend perhaps won back some credibility from Sunderland fans when he sent Newcastle boss Alan Pardew to the stands after his clash with Meyler, now at Hull, earlier this month. Pardew was later given a seven-match ban for the offence.