London - A former referee in English football's elite Premier League has admitted to going along with a request to deliberately book a player back in 2011.
Mark Halsey, who retired at the end of the 2012/13 season, told CNN Sport on Thursday: "(The player) just said 'listen, look, we've got a game Tuesday.
"If I don't get cautioned now and get one Tuesday, I'll miss the big derby on the Saturday," he added.
"So he just asked me if I could show a yellow. And I did actually.
"I said to him, 'Alright, we've got 10 minutes to go, when I give a free-kick against you' - and I knew I would because he's that sort of player - 'just leather the ball 50 yards away and I can caution you for dissent'.
"If you've got big games coming up and you're on four yellow cards, one more means you get suspended. I just said to him, 'Don't do nothing stupid.'
"He came up to me at the end of the game and said, 'Thanks for that Mark.'"