OPINION: Official’s sanction for common sense remarks sends out the wrong message.
THE assistant referee who urged Manchester City’s players to thank their fans at the end of their game with Arsenal has been stood down from FA Cup duty tonight.
At the final whistle, as City’s players shook hands with the team of officials, linesman John Brooks told Joleon Lescott to take his team-mates over to the away end to applaud those fans who had paid £62 for a ticket.
Brooks was due to run the line at The Hawthorns for the replay between West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers this evening but has been withdrawn by Professional Game Match Officials Limited.
It is not known whether Brooks was axed because of the remark, but if he was, it is thoroughly depressing news.
City’s players perhaps did not need to be told – I’m sure they would have made their way over anyway – but Brooks words were refreshing and showed a more human, empathetic side to a sport that is increasingly growing out of touch with the common supporter.
His remarks were applauded at the time by fans across the country, and rightly so but now it would appear that his common sense comments have come at a price.
If you missed what Brooks said, watch this video:
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