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Last-minute EFL decision made ahead of Birmingham City vs Cardiff

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Birmingham City and Cardiff City are the subjects of a last-ditch refereeing adjustment in the Sky Bet Championship, with Robert Madley struck off for this midweek’s meeting.

The two clubs play one another at St Andrew’s @ Knighthead Park on Wednesday evening. It was announced previously that Madley would take charge of the clash but there was an uproar as supporters pointed out the official’s fan allegiance with one of Blues’ relegation rivals, Huddersfield Town.

That affiliation has now been considered by the EFL, with Sam Allison set to oversee proceedings in B9 instead. Assistant referees Greg Read and Daniel Leach – as well as fourth official Andy Davies – remain booked in for the Birmingham game. Madley, meanwhile, will now referee Bristol City vs Blackburn Rovers at Ashton Gate.

This isn’t the first time this season Blues have seen a late officiating adjustment as assistant James Wilson was marked off the home fixture against Middlesbrough on March 12. There was a similar fan uproar as Wilson ran the line away at Hull City when Birmingham were denied a penalty for what appeared to be a clear Ozan Tufan handball.

The EFL have backed down in both instances, perhaps to take the pressure off their referees. The tension is high enough with Blues fighting relegation and every game a cup final between now and the end of the campaign.

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