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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Atkinson taken off ref duties after Matic 'red'

Referee Martin Atkinson
Referee Martin Atkinson
Chelsea's Nemanja Matic, centre, was incensed by Ashley Barnes' challenge

Referee Martin Atkinson, who was at the centre of the controversial sending off of Chelsea Nemanja Matic on Saturday, will not take charge of a match this weekend.

Atkinson was in the spotlight for his decision not to take action against Burnley's Ashley Barnes for a studs-up challenge on Matic, and his subsequent dismissal of the Serb, who bundled Barnes to the ground in the aftermath.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho suggested Barnes should have been facing a three-game ban for what he termed an "end of career" tackle, but the Football Association has declined to take any retrospective action against Barnes, with Atkinson deemed to have been in the best place to make a judgement.

Read More: Burnley star Ashley Barnes to face no action over Matic challenge

With a reduced Premier League fixture list, due to the Capital One Cup final between Chelsea and Tottenham, Atkinson is required only for fourth official's duty at Manchester United versus Sunderland on Saturday.

He will be back on the pitch on Tuesday, taking charge of Crystal Palace's trip to Southampton.

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