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Phil Dowd Declared Not Fit To Referee Premier League Matches

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DOWD
Unfit: Dowd must work on his frame to referee in the Premier League next season | PA

Phil Dowd is renowned for his rather portly frame, but now the match official has been declared not fit to referee in the Premier League - literally.

According to the Daily Mail, the 49-year-old failed a fitness test to continue officiating next season just three weeks after his most distinguished achievement.

The Staffordshire official presided over the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool, but now must work on his fitness to be included on the match officials list for the 2012/13 campaign.

Referees are regularly tested on a series of timed runs in order to meet the strict criteria, and Dowd's age is not believed to be an issue after automatic retirement rules were relaxed.

He became a Football League referee in 1997, making his bow in August 1998, four years before his Premiership debut in September 2002. Dowd has been a regular in the top flight since the 2004/05 season.

His other notable refereeing displays were at the 2010 League Cup final, when he failed to send off Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic for preventing Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor from having a goalscoring opportunity. And the March 2011 Liverpool-United match, when he erroneously opted to yellow-card Liverpool's Jamie Carragher for a studs-up challenge on Nani.

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