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Halsey dropped from referees' list

Mark Halsey has been removed from the list of referees for this weekend's Premier League fixtures following his failure to spot Callum McManaman's heavy challenge on Massadio Haidara during Wigan's defeat of Newcastle earlier this month.

Halsey did not even award a free-kick for the tackle, claiming that his view of the incident was blocked by a Newcastle player. The official told the Football Association that he would have awarded a red card to the forward had he spotted it.

McManaman avoided punishment from the FA as assistant referee Matthew Wilkes is believed to have informed the governing body that he had seen the "coming together" of the players.

As a result, the FA were unable to take retrospective action against the Wigan man - although it refused to consider the incident as an "exceptional circumstance", which could have seen a punishment handed out.

While scans have shown that Haidara suffered no damage to his knee ligaments in his left leg or broken bones, the challenge did spark outrage, with Newcastle labelling the FA's disciplinary process "not fit for purpose".

The Magpies defender was left fearing for his career, but could be back by as soon as April.

Halsey, who has received death threats over the incident, will now have to officiate the League One clash between Coventry City and Doncaster Rovers on Friday. He will, however, be at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday for Arsenal's fixture with Reading as a fourth official.

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