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Official axed for ticket comment to Lescott

The assistant referee who was caught on camera telling Joleon Lescott to thank Manchester City fans at the Emirates Stadium has been axed from Tuesday's FA Cup third-round replay between West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers.

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John Brooks was seen on television after the final whistle of City's 2-0 away win at Arsenal on Sunday urging Lescott to go over and acknowledge the travelling supporters.

Referring to the row over high ticket prices which saw the Premier League champions return 912 tickets - almost a third of their 3,000-seat allocation - Brooks told Lescott: "They've paid 62 quid over there, go and see them".

Brooks' comments were picked up by a camera on the pitch and subsequently attracted plenty of attention.

However, The Independent reports that Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the body which controls the assigning of officials for matches, was displeased by one of its staff members getting involved in such a matter, and has removed him from duty for Tuesday night's match at the Hawthorns.

Brooks has been replaced by Dave Bryan, who will be part of the matchday team of officials along with other assistant Darren Cann, fourth official Martin Atkinson and referee Neil Swarbrick.

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