SFA look to Ireland and Scandinavia for referees
Published 23/11/2010 | 09:45
Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has confirmed he is looking to Ireland for replacement referees after Scottish grade one officials voted to go on strike this weekend.
The SFA are contractually bound to supply referees for matches and while there has been sympathy expressed for Scotland's under-fire officials, who confirmed on Monday that they would be withdrawing their services, Regan revealed that he has contingency plans, one of which is looking to Ireland as well as Scandinavia.
"We've got to make sure we bring in referees from those countries who are available," he told radio station talkSPORT. "It could be the Republic of Ireland, it could be the Scandinavian countries, there are a number of options open to us and we will be exhausting all of those."
He added: "There will be a cost, it will be expensive bringing people in, not just match fees but the expense of getting them here as well.
"It affects 20 matches, a huge number of matches to cover and we sympathise with the referees because they've had a tough few weeks and they have been under massive scrutiny with challenges to their integrity.
"There has even been one MP coming out saying referees should declare their allegiances before matches which seemed a very bizarre request and quite frankly I think they have had enough.
"We have talks scheduled for the next few days but clearly with a contract to be fulfilled with the Scottish Premier League we have to put a contingency plan in and that's what we are doing at the moment by looking elsewhere for officials."