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By ESPN Staff

Referee switched for FA Cup final over pressure fears

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - Referee Mike Dean has lost his place at the FA Cup final to Alan Wiley over fears that he could have faced pressure from Liverpool fans living near his Merseyside home.

The switch was decided by the Football Association after Liverpool lined up a final on May 13 in Cardiff against West Ham United following last weekend's semi-finals.

The FA said in a statement that it 'has complete faith in Mike Dean's refereeing ability, integrity and impartiality.

'However, given the huge interest in all aspects of The FA Cup final, the fact that he is from the Wirral might lead to comment and debate which would place him under undue additional pressure.

'The decision has been taken with the best interests of Mike Dean and the competition in mind.'