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International duty for Atkinson

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Martin Atkinson has been spared the prospect of being axed for this weekend's round of Barclays Premier League games following his award of a 'ghost goal' in Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham.

Atkinson was already unable to take charge of a fixture on Saturday or Sunday after he and fellow referee Howard Webb were appointed match officials for Monday's play-off between Senegal and Oman to decide the final spot at this summer's Olympics.

Under FIFA rules, referees are not allowed to oversee a game on the eve of a designated travel day for an international fixture - even though the Senegal-Oman match is being played at Coventry's Ricoh Arena. A referee is allowed to be a fourth official, however, which Atkinson will be at Newcastle's clash with Stoke on Saturday.

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