Shortage of referees forcing cancellation of games in Cork

The abuse of referees and the shortage of refs has led to some games across Cork being cancelled.

The difficulty of falling referee numbers has been described as a major concern for all soccer leagues in Cork and the situation has reached crisis point.

Half of referees walk away within the first season because of the commitment needed along with the abuse they get from the sidelines.

Concern has been expressed about the conduct of some people at matches and the abuse and poor treatment of referees which makes it diffcult to attract people to take up the whistl.

Speaking on the Big Red Bench at the weekend, Chairperson of the Cork Branch of the Irish Soccer Referees Society Edwin McNally says games will be abandoned if the abuse of referees doesn’t stop.

“They don’t need us abandoning games, because some spectator has decided to be a hero and start abusing the referee.

“The onus is back on the home club to remove the trouble makers.

“If you meet these fellas on the street, nine times out of ten they’ll drop their head and they won’t even open their mouth to you.

“But they think that they can say what they want because you’re in the middle, and that your hands are tied.

“But we’ve gotten to the stage now where we’ve spoken to the leagues, and if we have to we’ll abandon games.”

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