Kevin Friend has been replaced
Kevin Friend has been replaced for the Spurs game Getty Images

Referee Kevin Friend has been removed from Tottenham Hotspur's Premier League game at Stoke City on Monday (18 April), as he is a Leicester City fan. Spurs are vying with Claudio Ranieri's table-topping Foxes to win the title and it has been decided Friend should not officiate the potentially crucial match.

Friend lives in Leicester and has attended games as a fan. As a result, it has been determined he should not referee matches that have an impact on the Foxes, who are seven points above Spurs in the table with just five games remaining.

The Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) said it made the decision to remove Friend from the match based on its "timing and context". In a statement, the body added: "It was felt unnecessary to add extra scrutiny on the refereeing appointment."

The switch means Neil Swarbrick, from Preston, will instead take charge of Spurs' game at Stoke, while Friend will officiate Newcastle United's match against Manchester City on Saturday (16 April).