By Keith Hackett

18th Nov, 2022 | 7:00am

Ex-Fifa official: Kevin De Bruyne making life 'difficult' for referees as new Man City controversy analysed

Referees will find Kevin De Bruyne’s burgeoning reputation as a player who goes to ground easily at Man City “difficult” to deal with, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee delivered his verdict as De Bruyne felt he should have had a penalty in Man City’s 2-1 loss to Brentford on Satuday (12 November).

As shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, the 31-year-old went to ground after a challenge from Rico Henry in the six-yard area.

Last week (5 November), the Belgian won a late spot-kick after a challenge from Antontee Robinson late on as Man City beat Fulham 2-1.

“I’m not going to give a penalty kick for that, I’m really not,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“One of the things that I find with referee Peter Bankes is that he’s a mature, experienced referee and he’s pretty good on these judgements. That’s a good judgement call not to give it.

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“In fairness to him, he’s in a good position so I think he’s OK.

“De Bruyne does seem to be going down more. I don’t know if he’s fatigued or not.

“I think he’s a greatly-skilled player. This is a difficult area for referees to effectively manage.

“I think that was a really good call. Overall, I thought Peter Bankes had a really good game, to be honest.

“Sometimes I’m critical of him but on this occasion, I thought he was OK.

“Some of these judgements are so subjective. When you have three or foul calls to make in such a short space of time that’s when the players come at you.

“When you look at him, his body is neutral and he gives you an air of confidence. There’s no panic, it’s maturity.

“That whole phase, as a referee, reflects really well on him. He didn’t overreact.”

In other news, “Man City are powerless” as an Erling Haaland “suspension” is mooted after a major reveal.