The Premier League may need to look abroad for football officials according to former referees’ chief Keith Hackett.
Hackett made this known in the wake of the departure of Bobby Madley and questioned Riley’s role.
Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) is responsible for overseeing all Premier League matches, with Riley operating as its managing director.
The body announced the departure of Madley on Thursday evening, despite the 32-year-old recently being promoted to the list of FIFA officials.
Hackett said: “It’s on him (Riley). And I’ve got to ask why did (Mark) Clattenburg leave? Why did (Howard) Webb leave? Why did Mark Halsey leave? All early.”
The PGMOL on Thursday said Madley had “decided to relocate due to a change in his personal circumstances.”
Hackett expressed disappointment at Madley’s move and suggested PGMOL, now with 17 top-tier match officials, could be forced to look abroad for referees of the desired standard.
Hackett added: “A few years ago I looked very carefully, when I was the boss of PGMOL, to bring in some overseas referees. I think he (Riley) is going to have to do that.
“If any referee sustains a long-term injury, then they’re down to the bare bones.
“Do we question the ability of bringing in foreign players? What is different to refereeing?
“Exchange programmes exist. I’m thinking for a short-term plan, in the event someone gets injured, rather than exposing our young referees coming into the system.”