Referee received anonymous threats

A Tyrone referee and his family received anonymous threats during the 2012 season, the Tyrone Convention was told.

Secretary to the Referee’s committee, Alan Richardson included the revelation in his end of year report.

“A very disturbing occurrence this season was the mindless anonymous people, who chose to threaten a referee and his family; also three members of our committee were subjected to threats by unknown persons.

“This has to stop and has no place in our organization, an organisation that prides itself on promoting the amateur ethos and is hugely dependent on the services, goodwill and dedication that our members give it.

The revelations will make efforts to recruit referees within Tyrone all the more difficult.

Richardson revealed that the lack of officials is becoming an ever worsening crisis with more and more whistlers forced into action on an almost nightly basis.

“Seven new referees commenced the new referee’s foundation course in Mid-April. Of the seven, one was injured throughout the entire season and further two only officiated at three youth games, before calling it a day and putting their whistles away” said Richardson.

“This left four active new referees who took up the whistle in late May and they must be commended for their commitment in their first season.

“What is not good is that we had twelve referees who retired at the beginning of the season and this put serious pressure on appointments secretaries from the CCC in ensuring all games were covered resulting in many of our referees having to officiate evening after evening, Saturday and Sunday and in some cases fulfil appointments twice in the one day.

“We simply do not have enough new referees coming forward and the clubs need to take this on board.”