‘Increased attention’ sees Pompey referee substituted

Premier League ref John Moss
Premier League ref John Moss
Blackpool's Kelvin Mellor , right, battles Sandro Semedo for the ball. Picture: PA Images

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The EFL say they have drafted in Premier League referee Jon Moss to officiate Pompey’s game at Blackpool this weekend due to the “increased attention” surrounding the fixture.

The unfortunately named Ben Toner was originally down to referee Saturday’s match at Bloomfield Road, but he will now officiate Carlisle United’s fixture against Yeovil Town in League Two.

The appointment of Toner to officiate Blackpool in the week of the momentous court ruling regarding the club’s owners, and their decision to put the Tangerines up for sale, attracted plenty of interest on social media.

The EFL say Toner has now filled a vacancy that arose at Brunton Park after the previous referee, who was scheduled to officiate, suffered an injury during the week.

An EFL spokesman said: ‘As a result of the increased attention surrounding this weekend’s League One fixture between Blackpool and Portsmouth, PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) has determined it would be appropriate for a Select Group 1 referee to take charge of proceedings at Bloomfield Road.

‘The previously selected official will instead fill a vacancy that has a arisen at Brunton Park for the League Two match between Carlisle United and Yeovil Town as the referee who was scheduled to officiate sustained an injury during Bury’s game with Stoke City Under-21s on Wednesday evening.’