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Published: 09:44 | 14/4/16

Friend removed from Tottenham fixture

Referee Kevin Friend has been removed from Monday's Premier League clash between Tottenham and Stoke because he supports Leicester.

Tottenham are Leicester's closest rivals in the Premier League title race, with Mauricio Pochettino's men seven points behind with five games remaining.

The Professional Game Match Officials Ltd do not pick Friend to referee matches involving Leicester because of his allegiance, and the organisation has opted to remove him from the game at the Britannia Stadium due to importance of the fixture to the title race.

"Kevin Friend, initially selected for the game, is from Leicester and has attended matches at Leicester City in a personal capacity. Given the context of this match, it was felt unnecessary to add extra scrutiny on the refereeing appointment," a statement read.

Neil Swarbrick will take charge of the game with Friend switching to Newcastle's game against Manchester City on Saturday.

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