Refs fear lack of respect on rise after cup-tie called off

Contact Andy Bloomfield @
Contact Andy Bloomfield @

Referees are worried by the growing lack of respect among players after the abandonment of a cup-tie on Saturday due to an alleged incident involving a player and a referee.

The Scarborough FA Junior Cup fixture between Heslerton and Seamer Reserves was called off after 73 minutes by the match official Kevin Crick after the alleged incident, which is believed to have involved Seamer’s Liam Lowery.

This incident comes just a few months after the Scarborough Saturday League game between Scalby and Filey Town Reserves was abandoned after an incident involving referee John Chalk and Scalby’s Carl Marton.

North Riding FA development officer Ross Joyce said: “The North Riding FA have received the referee’s report from Saturday’s match.

“The player in question has been suspended pending the investigation, which should take a couple of weeks.”

“We are unable to comment on the matter while this investigation is ongoing. Thankfully these types of incident are few and far between.”

Andy Thorpe, 41, has been refereeing for over a decade in the local leagues.

Thorpe, who also played for several seasons in the local leagues, said: “I think that there has been a dip in the amount of respect that match officials receive over the past 10 years since I started reffing.

“These type of incidents are very isolated, but one incident is still one too many.

“Thankfully I have never had to abandon a game and have never been physically threatened.”

Thorpe added: “Having played football before becoming a ref helps me to understand the players, and I think the best refs around here are the ones who are ex-players.”

Top local referee Oliver O’Brien, who has taken charge of Premier League reserve games, said: “I think these kind of things don’t happen very often.

“I have never experienced a lack of respect from players, but I can see where Andy is coming from.”

Crick and the Scarborough FA refused to comment.

At the time of going to press no arrest had been made.