Scottish Referees Plan Strike
This weekend’s games in Scotland might be led by foreign referees. Thus, Scottish FA will meet Senior Football Referees on Tuesday to have talks on referees’ decision to go on strike the next days. Following the many threats from both clubs’ officials and fans, these decided not to lead the games anymore until their asks would be resolved by the Scottish football chiefs. Chief executive Stewart Regan wants to make sure that next weekend’s games will be officiated and then they will try to find solutions for the referees. Until then, Regan revealed that the SFA is looking around Europe for referees.
Thus, Scottish FA officials will have talks with foreign associations from Scandinavia and Ireland. They need to find at least 60 referees there for covering 20 matches that are scheduled this weekend in Scotland. “In the first instance we are keen to understand what we could do as an association to make sure the games could go ahead this weekend,” he said. Iceland officials also looked willing to send some of their referees in Scotland. “We have been talking about it and if we are offered the chance to go over to Scotland then it is fine by the union,” said Iceland’s referees union head Sigurdur Thorleifsson, while Gylfi Orrason, who is Iceland FA vice president, also confirmed that they are arranged to do so.
SFA did everything these days to come to an agreement with the Senior Referee Association. “We are trying to put a plan in place to support referees. We recognise that they are going through a very difficult time,” added Regan who has two meetings arranged with the referees. But they are decided to go on with the strike though as all what Regan can do is to assure these all the support needed in order to calm down the spirits between managers, players and fans and referees.
George Peat termed the situation as a ‘bad day for Scottish football’ as the SFA president is also expected to clear the air. The whole Scottish football is put now under pressure. Ralph Topping, who is SPL chairman, is also hopeful the officials will come to patience and restrain, labeling the case as a regrettable one. Scottish Premier chief executive League Neil Doncaster said that the league has got nothing to do with the situation, this entering under SFA responsibility.
On the other hand, Celtic Glasgow said they are supporting referees’ strike and expects UEFA to get involved into the problem and regulate their referees’ status. But the international body has already claimed that they won’t take part to the case, calling the situation as ‘purely domestic matter’. Four matches are about to be played on Saturday and two on Sunday as Celtic will play Inverness CT, while Rangers meet Dundee Utd the second day.11