Martin Atkinson to referee Manchester City title decider

Manchester City’s final-day encounter against West Ham at the Etihad Stadium will be officiated by Martin Atkinson, the PGMOL has confirmed.

Martin Atkinson signals before KO (B'mouth v Eve - 20th Feb 2016)
Whistler: Atkinson took charge of Manchester City’s victory over Sunderland in this season’s Capital One Cup Final (Picture from BBC Sport)

MARTIN Atkinson has been confirmed as the man in the middle for Manchester City’s title-deciding clash with West Ham on Sunday.

The 43-year-old takes charge as table-topping City require a solitary point against the Hammers to clinch their second Premier League title in three years.

The experienced whistler, from Bradford in West Yorkshire, will be assisted by linesmen Harry Lennard (West Sussex) and Peter Kirkup (Northamptonshire).

Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire) has been tasked with fourth official duties at the Etihad Stadium.

Atkinson handled City’s 2-2 draw at home to Sunderland last month and their 6-3 win over Arsenal in December.

He has also been in charge of three West Ham games – most recently a 1-0 reverse by Crystal Palace at Upton Park in April.

The Fifa referee, who will officiate his 28th Premier League game of the season, was entrusted with the decisive showdown between Liverpool and Chelsea last month, which the Blues won 2-0.

Atkinson was also appointed to oversee Chelsea’s title-clincher on the final day of the 2009-10 season as Carlo Ancelotti’s side thrashed Wigan 8-0.

The 2014 Capital One Cup Final official has brandished 128 yellow cards, three red cards and awarded 11 penalties in 42 games in all competitions this season.

Should City fail to avoid defeat, second-placed Liverpool could claim their first league title in 24 years with victory over Newcastle United.

Phil Dowd will be on duty at Anfield, in what could be his final match as a Premier League referee at the age of 52.

All 10 Premier League games will kick off on May 11 at 15:00 BST, the final round of fixtures for the 2013-14 campaign.

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