Premier League referees Martin Atkinson and Kevin Friend are taking the weekend off. At least, that’s what they’ve been told.
After controversial games for both Atkinson and Friend last weekend, they won’t be in the middle for a PL game during Week 27.
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Instead the duo have been named as fourth officials for two games on Saturday after Atkinson came under fire for failing to send off Burnley’s Ashley Barnes and missing at least three other key moments in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Burnley.
As for Friend, he was in charge of Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Southampton, in which there were numerous penalty box incidents that saw the referee and his assistant get plenty of flack from the home supporters at St. Mary’s as penalty decisions went against the Saints.
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Atkinson will be the fourth official on Saturday for Manchester United’s home clash against Sunderland, while Friend will be officiating at West Ham United vs. Crystal Palace in the same capacity. The refereeing assignments have also been dished out for Week 28 as both men will be handed their whistles back to referee midweek matches.
Southampton and Crystal Palace will get Atkinson in charge on Tuesday, Mar. 3, while Friend will officiate Arsenal’s trip to QPR on Wed. 4.