Soc­cer in tur­moil as ref­er­ees make stand

Of­fi­cials are with­draw­ing their ser­vices over safety fears

Bray People - - Sport - Daniel GOR­MAN

THE WICK­LOW and District Foot­ball League is in tur­moil fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion of the Wick­low Branch of the Ir­ish Soc­cer Ref­eree’s So­ci­ety of Ire­land (ISRS) to with­draw their ser­vices as of Mon­day, Jan­uary 26.

The ref­er­ees’ de­ci­sion came about af­ter the Wick­low League’s fail­ure ‘ to im­ple­ment an agree­ment be­tween the Ir­ish Soc­cer Ref­er­ees So­ci­ety of Ire­land and the FAI’.

The rea­son for their with­drawal goes back to when ref­eree Thomas ‘Tucker’ Dowl­ing was as­saulted dur­ing a match be­tween En­niskerry B and Ark­low Town B on Sun­day, Novem­ber 30.

The Wick­low League has at­tempted to re­solve the is­sue of the ref­eree’s safety by in­tro­duc­ing ref­eree li­ai­son of­fi­cers at ev­ery club and have also stated their will­ing­ness to work with the Wick­low Branch of ref­er­ees ‘to min­imise the threat to ref­er­ees of phys­i­cal or ver­bal as­sault’.

As re­gards the im­me­di­ate fu­ture of foot­ball in this county, it seems ev­ery­body is equally as clue­less as re­gards when nor­mal or­der will be re­stored.

Hope­fully though, it will be sooner rather than later.

The Wick­low League

have re­leased a state­ment re­gard­ing the mat­ter, as have the ref­er­ees al­though the ref­er­ees made no at­tempt to make con­tact with the Bray/Wick­low Peo­ple to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion nor did they send a copy of the state­ment to us.

Here is the Wick­low Branch of the Ir­ish Soc­cer Ref­er­ees So­ci­ety of Ire­land’s state­ment: ‘Due to the fail­ure of the Wick­low League to im­ple­ment an agree­ment be­tween the Ir­ish Soc­cer Ref­er­ees So­ci­ety of Ire­land (ISRS) and the FAI, the Wick­low Branch of the ISRS have de­cided to dis­con­tinue of­fi­ci­at­ing in the Wick­low League.

This dis­pute was in­sti­gated as a re­sult of a se­ri­ous as­sault of one of our mem­bers.

As a re­sult of this as­sault, the Wick­low ISRS sought for a trio of of­fi­cials for matches of the team in­volved.

Al­though this so­lu­tion was re­jected by the Wick­low League, it was sought and given on a pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sion.

It is with re­gret that we can no longer of­fer our ser­vices to the Wick­low League.

The Wick­low and District School­boys/Girls League (WDSL) will not be ef­fected by this dis­pute.’

CON­TIN­UED ON PAGE 49

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