Referees Atkinson, Friend dropped for Premier League matches
LONDON — Two referees who were criticized for their performances in Premier League matches over the weekend will not take charge of games in the next round in the English top flight.
Martin Atkinson and Kevin Friend have been appointed as fourth officials for games on Saturday.
Atkinson failed to send off Burnley striker Ashley Barnes for a strong tackle on Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic during a game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. An unhappy Matic subsequently pushed Barnes to the ground, and received a straight red card.
The Football Association declined Monday to take retrospective action against Barnes because Atkinson had seen the incident at the time.
Friend was the referee for Southampton-Liverpool on Sunday, when there were a number of penalty-area flashpoints.