Football: Reed keeps his counsel

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The Independent Online
Mike Reed, the Birmingham referee at the centre of the storm surrounding Chelsea's extra-time penalty winner against Leicester in their FA Cup fifth-round replay last week, has refused to be drawn on the decision by the Premier League to replace him for the Chelsea-Leicester match at Stamford Bridge next month.

Reed's decision incensed Leicester fans and on Monday police expressed reservations about the wisdom of Reed being allowed to referee the game on 19 April because of fears for his safety. It led to the Football Association saying it was "likely" Reed would be replaced if a request was made by the police.

However, it was the Premier League which took the decision to remove Reed. A statement read: "The FA Premier League have decided to appoint a replacement for Mike Reed for the Chelsea-Leicester City game in April. The decision has been taken after careful consideration of the various factors involved and in consultation with the appropriate interested parties."

Reed said: "I have no comment to make. The statement from the Premier League says it all. That's enough as far as I am concerned." When asked if he was happy with the decision, he repeated his previous comments.

Two FA charges against Bruce Grobbelaar will remain on the books while the goalkeeper and his fellow accused await the outcome of any retrial in the Winchester Crown Court match-fixing case. It looks certain that the FA will redraft its rules governing betting on games. "We are constantly reviewing FA rules, including those relating to betting and that was made clear some time ago," the FA's spokesman, Steve Double, said."

Roger Stanislaus, who failed a drugs test in February last year, yesterday scrapped plans to relaunch his career with Second Division Notts County following his 12-month ban. The 28-year-old, who was sacked by Orient after testing positive for cocaine in December 1995 and has been training at Meadow Lane this week, decided to withdraw from a reserve game against Wolves.

Sam Allardyce, the County manager, had earlier indicated he would consider offering Stanislaus a contract if he had shaped up well in the game.

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