Last Update 22:22
Wednesday, 24 July 2019

French referees replaced after protest threat

France's top-flight fixtures will be overseen by third division officials at the weekend after their League 1 counterparts were suspended Friday due to a threat to kick-off matches 15 minutes late in protest at abuse.

AFP, Friday 4 Mar 2011
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Members of the first division referees union (SAFE) had threatened to blow their whistles a quarter of an hour late to highlight what they described as "profound disrespect for referees from everyone involved in football".

"This movement, started by the referees and SAFE, is aimed at alerting the need for the football family (players, management, media, federal and professional organisations) to return to a more peaceful and respectful climate with respect to dealing with referees," said SAFE.

The decision to use lower league referees on Saturday and Sunday was confirmed to AFP by a source who said: "The referees will be replaced by referees from the National (third division) and the games will kick-off on schedule."

French referees' disquiet at their treatment follows November's strike by Scottish referees upset at the way they were being treated by players and managers.

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