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top strikers Referees' abuse strike forces two underage soccer leagues to postpone all matches

Refs are taking a stand over 'constant abuse and threatening behaviour from managers, players, coaches and supporters'

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All NDSL/MGL games are off this weekend

All NDSL/MGL games are off this weekend

All NDSL/MGL games are off this weekend

Two of Ireland’s biggest underage soccer leagues have been forced to postpone their matches this weekend after a strike by referees over “constant abuse and threatening behaviour from managers, players, coaches and supporters.”

The North Dublin Schoolboys League and the Metropolitan Girls League have announced the postponement of their games this coming weekend as there will be no officials present.

Tony Gains, honorary secretary of the NDSL/MGL, confirmed that all matches – including small-sided Games, 11-a-side and friendly games – are off.

He said in a statement: “I have just been informed that all referees who are refereeing in the NDSL & MGL are withdrawing their services this weekend and the reason why they are withdrawing their services is because of constant abuse and threatening behaviour from managers, players, coaches and supporters.”

Gains also explained the abuse a young female referee suffered in the weekend just gone.

“This weekend a female referee refereeing her first game of three games was abused so badly from the time she entered the pitch, she decided that she is not taking any more of this abuse from these people and she has now decided to give up refereeing entirely,” he said.

“Another young referee who has only been refereeing for the past 2 months was petrified on the pitch, he was so afraid even to collect his gear. This abuse he took was absolutely disgraceful.

“I have also informed our Disciplinary Committee to have zero tolerance when it comes to these matters and to penalise these culprits where it hurts. Let me remind all our clubs you are responsible for the conduct of managers, players, coaches and supporters.

“This is a sad day for football and I hope we will learn from what is happening this weekend.”

The future of the following week’s NDSL/MGL fixtures will depend on “discussion with the referees.”

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