Assistant Referee Dave Bryan, who controversially allowed both Chelsea goals in their 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic this weekend has been dropped from tonight's clash between Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool, which he was due to officiate. Despite the goals from Branislav Ivanovic and Juan Mata in the game both appearing to be offside, Bryan did not raise his flag, nor did he notify the referee about either, in a game which could turn out to be crucial in the Latics' bid to avoid the drop.
The Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) office did, however, move to say that despite the blunders, the decision has not been made out of punishment. Instead they claim that Bryan was merely being removed from the limelight during a time in which his head may not be in the right place. Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was understandably furious with the non-calls, and amidst speculation he could receive punishment for his post-match outburst the Spaniard has revealed that a phone call from PGMO chief Mike Riley has smoothed things over:
He just said he understands that at the level of refereeing in this league, they should get that call right. I think that is a very honourable way to face mistakes. We are all capable of making mistakes and it is about how you react to them.
It's now believed that in accepting mistakes were made, the comments of Martinez will be ignored by the FA. During the previously mentioned post-match outburst he had branded the officiating "disgusting" and was facing a hefty fine. Bryan will sit out tonight's game, however will still face very close scrutiny upon his return to the game. Whenever that may be.