Has the criticism been too much for referees in the Scottish Premier League?
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Grade one referees in Scotland will inform the Scottish Football Association if they are to make themselves available for this weekend’s scheduled fixtures on Thursday morning.
The referees voted on Sunday to withdraw their labour as a protest against recent and increasing abuse and criticism which they feel has put their personal safety at risk. Discussions between the SFA and the referees’ representatives have lasted two days and all the referees will be canvassed for their thoughts before a decision is made.
The SFA have declared noon on Thursday as the deadline before they turn elsewhere for replacement referees. However, approaches were rejected in Iceland and Norway, while Irish, Welsh and Swedish officials have indicated that they would be unwilling to help out. (Press Association)
The referee strike in Scotland ought to come to a head today, which means that it is crunch time for the weekend’s Scottish Premier League ties and whether they will go ahead or not.
Of course, all losing managers have a persecution complex when decisions go against them – whether they are correct or not – but it is clear that some of those in football and their team’s fans have gone too far.
Celtic have come under particular criticism, with manager Neil Lennon admitting, “It would be folly of me to say I am not doing anything wrong, because there is a line you can’t cross and I may have crossed it once or twice.
“But, in the main, I want that passion to be there, not just from me but from my staff and my players, as well. However, it must be in a controlled manner.
“All managers have their own way of doing things. They have their own styles and personalities — and maybe I have to temper mine a little bit.”
SFA president George Peat said, “We will do everything we possibly can to broker a deal before the weekend,” he said.
“We do not condone the strike, but we must sympathise with the grievances of the referees.”
Certainly a compromise will have to be reached soon if the weekend’s fixtures are to go ahead.
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