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News & Comment

Massey taken off referee duty due to media interest

Sian Massey is to be replaced for her match this weekend as a result of intense media attention.

The official, who was the target of sexist remarks by Sky Sports presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray last week, had been due to referee Corby Town versus Eastwood Town in the Blue Square Bet North league.

The Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) organisation took the decision following a discussion with Massey, 25, after Corby reported a huge demand for access by television crews.

A PGMO spokesman said: "The focus needs to be on the football match not the officials. It would be unfair on the clubs involved."

The Premier League, which speaks on behalf of the PGMO, refused to comment on whether there would be any financial loss for Massey after she was withdrawn from a second game this week – she had been due to be an assistant at Crewe v Bradford in midweek.

The managers of the clubs had had no issue with Massey being the referee – Corby manager Graham Drury said: "We've had Sian before and she had a fantastic game.I don't mind whether it's a man or woman refereeing."