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Linesman pays price for Latics blunders

The assistant referee who failed to spot two controversial offside goals as Chelsea beat relegation-threatened Wigan 2-1 at Stamford Bridge has been stood down from his next scheduled Premier League fixture.

Linesman Dave Bryan was set to officiate in Blackburn's clash with Liverpool at Ewood Park on Tuesday but has been removed from duty following a ruling from the Professional Game Match Officials Board.

Bryan, and match referee Mike Jones, allowed goals from Chelsea duo Branislav Ivanovic and Juan Mata to stand against Wigan on Saturday, but TV replays showed both strikes should have been ruled out for offside.

Latics boss Roberto Martinez was "furious'' with Bryan's performance, branding it "disgusting'' and "horrific'' and claiming his side had been "robbed''.

Martinez is now waiting to learn whether he will face a Football Association charge for his outspoken attack.

The withdrawal of officials for matches is not necessarily a punishment for poor performances.

It is understood referees' chief Mike Riley treats each case on its merits, with the decision partly based on whether it is best for an official to be given another match quickly or to be taken out of the limelight for a short period.

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