English Premiership

Leicester-based ref switched from Stoke v Spurs

2016-04-14 15:19
Leicester celebrate (AP)

London - The referee for Tottenham's game at Stoke on Monday has been switched because he lives in Leicester.

With leaders Leicester City leading Spurs by seven points with five Premier League matches remaining officials felt it was best that Kevin Friend did not take charge of the game.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited said the change was made to avoid adding an "extra scrutiny on the refereeing appointment" around Friend, who lives in Leicester and has been to games at the King Power Stadium.

While there is no suggestion of any question over the official's integrity in his impartial position, the PGMOL, which does not select Friend for matches involving his hometown club, felt given the circumstances it was sensible to move him to another fixture.

A statement read: "PGMOL has made the decision to change the referee for the match between Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur as Kevin Friend, initially selected for the game, is from Leicester and has attended matches at Leicester City in a personal capacity.

"Given the timing and context of this match, it was felt unnecessary to add extra scrutiny on the refereeing appointment.

"Neil Swarbrick will referee the match and Friend will referee Newcastle United v Manchester City."

Read more on:    english premiership  |  soccer

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