Assistant referee John Brooks dropped over Man City comment

Official sends Manchester City players to £62 fans

The assistant referee who told Manchester City players to thank their fans at Arsenal has been dropped from an FA Cup tie because of "the pressure of media interest in him".

John Brooks's comments were picked up by a camera at the Emirates on Sunday.

He urged City players to go to their supporters, who paid £62 for a ticket.

He was due to be one of the officials at Tuesday's FA Cup replay between West Brom and Queens Park Rangers at the Hawthorns.

The organisation that manages referees, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said it made its decision in order to ensure Brooks was not subject to undue media pressure.

Brooks told Manchester City players: "They paid 62 quid over there, go and see them" as he shook their hands at the end of the 2-0 away win.

The cost of tickets at the Emirates had been a talking point before the game with some City fans boycotting the match in protest.

The club are reported to have returned 900 of their 3,000 ticket allocation for the match.