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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 06:57 GMT
Foreign referees idea ruled out
By John Sinnott

Red and yellow card and whistle
Foreign referees could be used to help train English officials
The Premier League has ruled out using foreign referees to officiate in high profile top-flight matches.

Recently German referee Michael Weiner took charge of a Bulgarian league game between Litex Lovech and Levski Sofia.

A Premier League spokesman told BBC Sport: "It wouldn't benefit the integrity of the competition to parachute referees in for games.

"They wouldn't have been subject to the same accountability and evaluation processes. So, in short, no."

Over the last year the reputation of English referees has suffered due to a number of controversial decisions.

During the World Cup referee Graham Poll booked Croatian Josip Simunic three times.

Poll also came under scrutiny over his handling of Spurs' 2-1 victory over Chelsea at White Hart Lane at the beginning of November.

Chelsea captain John Terry is currently facing a Football Association improper conduct charge following comments he made about Poll.

Terry claimed Poll had given him conflicting reasons for his second yellow card in the 2-1 defeat against Tottenham on 5 November.

And last January referee Mark Clattenburg and his two assistants failed to spot Pedro Mendes' shot had crossed the line during the 0-0 draw between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.

However the Premier League is prepared to consider bringing bringing over top foreign referees to help with the training of English officials.

It is not the first time Litex and Levski have used a foreign referee to take charge of a match that has often been highly-charged affairs in recent years.

Last season, Litex's home match with Levski was refereed by another German, Franz-Xaver Wack.

Ref Poll sent home from World Cup
28 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
Manchester United 0-0 Tottenham
04 Jan 05 |  Premiership


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