Referees are quitting over abuse - league chairman
The chairman of the Leinster Senior League (LSL) has revealed that the majority of referees assigned to the league 18 months ago have quit due to threats of physical abuse.
Chairman Dave Moran has issued a strong appeal to clubs to show respect to fellow players and match officials.
He made his impassioned appeal at the league's management meeting in Abbotstown last Thursday.
"It simply has to stop. Clubs have got to take responsibility and police their matches in a more vigilant way," said Mr Moran.
He told the meeting that only six of 20 referees from an assignment to the league 18 months ago remain - most having retired as a result of continuous verbal, as well as threatened physical abuse.
Mr Moran said the league will ramp-up the sanctions available to them with heavy monetary fines linked to suspensions of up to eight weeks.
"Clubs have been warned and the LSL will not be found wanting in ensuring that the game is protected and cleaned up," he said.
Mr Moran's appeal comes hot on the heels of the Dublin and District Schoolboys League (DDSL) issuing a stern warning after seven games were abandoned in the last six weeks over mass brawls.
Three of those abandonments were in matches for U12 players.
The DDSL warned that clubs will be fined €500 and hit with a six-point deduction if their team is involved in an incident that leads to the abandonment of a game.
Paul O'Brien, national president of the Irish Soccer Referees Society, called on the FAI to look closely at the situation, including the use of social media.