Premier League

Assistant referee stood down

Joe Hart (C) and Joleon Lescott (R) applaud Man City fans at Emirates Stadium.
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The assistant referee who told Manchester City players to thank their fans for paying to watch them at the Emirates on Sunday has been stood down from Tuesday night's FA Cup game between West Brom and QPR.

John Brooks was seen on camera telling Joe Hart and Joleon Lescott to show their appreciation to the supporters who had paid £62 for a match ticket.

It is understood that the action is not intended to be a punishment by referees' chiefs at Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) but to remove John Brooks, a relatively new professional official, from the limelight.

City had sent back nearly 1,000 unsold tickets for Sunday's match while supporters held up banners in protest at the game saying: "Don't price us out of our game or lose more fans" and "£62! Where will it stop?".

Meanwhile, Arsenal have explained why a steward at the Emirates removed one of the banners from a fan who was protesting at the high ticket prices.

A club spokesman says the banner was confiscated because it impeded the view of others, and for no other reason.

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