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Thursday, 13 January, 2000, 16:41 GMT
Tranmere ref suspended

Reid Tranmere brought on a sub for a sent-off player


Referee Rob Harris has been suspended by the Premier League pending an investigation into his handling of the FA Cup tie between Tranmere Rovers and Sunderland.

Assistant referee Tony Green has also been sidelined after failing to notice that a Tranmere substitute was brought on for a red-carded player during the closing minutes of the January 8 clash.


Rob Harris Rob Harris: Has made FA history
The two men will not be allowed to officiate at Premiership matches until their conduct has been examined by a Football Association commission.

It is the first time in its history that the FA has taken such action against officials. Fourth official David Unsworth has also been summoned.

The match ended in controversy at Prenton Park when Rovers replaced Clint Hill with a substitute, even though he had been red-carded.

As a result, Tranmere played for a few seconds with 11 players instead of 10 and were forced to wait 48 hours for the FA to decide that their 1-0 victory over Sunderland should, in fact, stand.

According to an FA statement at the time, Harris had "less than proficiently applied the laws of the game".

Unsworth and Green are alleged to have committed technical irregularities in connection with the substitution.

The three officials have 14 days to respond to the allegations and request a personal hearing before appearing in front of a commission of the FA referees' committee.

Harris had been due to officiate the FA Cup fourth round tie between Gillingham and Bradford, but was replaced by Dermot Gallagher following the debacle.

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