Kevin Friend

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Kevin Friend
Kevin Friend.jpg
Full name Kevin Friend
Born (1971-07-08) 8 July 1971 (age 43)
Bristol, England[1]

Kevin Friend (born 8 July 1971)[2] is an English professional football referee based in Leicester. He is a member of the Leicestershire and Rutland County Football Association.

In 2009, Friend was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees who officiate primarily in the Premier League. His most notable appointments have been to referee the 2012 Community Shield, played at Villa Park, and the 2013 League Cup final which was held at Wembley Stadium.

Career[edit]

Friend started refereeing at the age of 14 in his home county of Leicestershire. He officiated in the Leicestershire Senior League and Midland Football Alliance before being promoted to the National List of Referees, and later to the Select Group of Referees ahead of the 2009–10 season. His first Premier League fixture was on 20 September 2009: a 2–1 victory for Wolverhampton Wanderers over Fulham; Friend showed two yellow cards during his debut appointment in England's top-flight.

Friend issued his first Premier League red card on 15 December 2009 to Sunderland captain Lorik Cana for a second bookable offence in his team's 2–0 defeat to Aston Villa.

He refereed the 2009 FA Vase final at Wembley Stadium on 10 May between Whitley Bay and Glossop North End, won 2–0 by the Bay.

2012 FA Community Shield[edit]

On 3 July 2012, it was announced that Friend would referee the 2012 FA Community Shield, played on 12 August at Villa Park.[3] His assistants were Michael McDonough and Richard West, and Anthony Taylor was the fourth official.

Chelsea were defeated 3–2 by Manchester City. Branislav Ivanović was sent off for the Blues for a high challenge towards the end of the first half. Ivanović did not serve any subsequent suspension, however, after FA rule changes regarding pre-season fixtures.[4]

2013 League Cup final[edit]

Friend refereed the 2013 League Cup final at Wembley Stadium on 24 February. The match was contested by League 2's Bradford City and Premier League Swansea City.

Swansea won the final 5–0.[5] An incident early in the second-half, when the Premier League side were already 3–0 up, saw Friend adjudge Bradford goalkeeper Matt Duke to have committed a professional foul. The official dismissed Duke and awarded Swansea a penalty kick, which was converted by Jonathan de Guzmán; he also scored again in the 90th minute. The other Swansea goals came courtesy of Nathan Dyer (2) and Michu.[6]

Criticisms[edit]

In February 2010, Portsmouth manager 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 with Sunderland. 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. He went on to issue a further two red cards, to Sunderland players Lee Cattermole and David Meyler.[7]

Friend came in for criticism following his handling of a Football League One match in April 2010 between Norwich City and Milton Keynes Dons. Friend issued 11 yellow cards, including two to Dons player Aaron Wilbraham, disallowed a 32nd-minute Norwich goal for a debatable foul on the goalkeeper, and dismissed an 82nd-minute penalty appeal by Norwich for an apparent handball by Wilbraham prior to his sending off.[8]

In November 2010 Friend was censured by Cardiff City manager Dave Jones for failing to award his team a late penalty in their 2–1 defeat at Queens Park Rangers.[9]

On 18 August 2012, he was criticised by Stoke City manager Tony Pulis for awarding a penalty kick to Reading after allowing them an advantage, during which a shot towards goal was missed.[10] Friend also showed a second yellow card to Dean Whitehead for the penalty challenge. The advantage rule allows play to continue immediately after a foul so long as the team in which a free-kick would have been awarded gains a fair advantage.[11] After Whitehead's foul, Reading striker Noel Hunt took a shot which was saved by Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begović. Pulis argued that an advantage had thus been gained, and the subsequent penalty should not have been awarded.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet described a red card Friend showed to his defender Wes Brown in a 2013 Premier League match against Stoke City as "difficult to accept" and suggested the Professional Game Match Officials Board should apologise or ensure the FA rescind the card.[12] Friend dismissed Brown with a straight red in the 36th minute, when Sunderland trailed 1–0, for a robust tackle on Charlie Adam, though Brown appeared to win the ball cleanly. Stoke manager Mark Hughes said afterward that he felt Brown was "a little bit out of control and a little bit reckless."[13] The FA later rescinded the card and resulting suspension for Brown.

Statistics[edit]

Season Games Total Booked Booked per game Total Red card Red card per game
2003–04 27 98 3.63 4 0.15
2004–05 37 107 2.89 7 0.19
2005–06 21 45 2.14 2 0.09
2006–07 34 87 2.56 6 0.18
2007–08 41 100 2.44 11 0.27
2008–09 46 124 2.69 6 0.13
2009–10 34 133 3.91 7 0.21
2010–11 33 116 3.52 7 0.21
2011–12 33 120 3.64 3 0.09
2012–13 34 120 3.53 3 0.09

Statistics are for all competitions. No records are available prior to 2003–04.

References[edit]

External links[edit]