The Cork soccer club at the centre of disputed claims of ‘referee abuse’ says it has secured match officials to take charge of youth games this weekend despite an ongoing referees ban.
Carrigaline AFC has vowed to continue working to restore adult fixtures at its Ballea complex as soon as possible.
The club says it will resist “ludicrous” calls for a ban on night-time games at its facility, and it has now asked the FAI to intervene in the row.
It follows the decision by the Cork branch of the Irish Soccer Referees Society (ISRS) last weekend to withdraw its members from officiating at all Carrigaline AFC home games after a referee was allegedly abused at one of the club’s underage games last month.
The branch alleged a referee had been subjected to verbal abuse and “threats to his safety and life” from the pitch and sideline during a youth game at the club’s home grounds in late February.
The ISRS said the ref had to abandon the match and had to run to “seek refuge in the changing room behind a locked door”.
The club initially declined to comment but following media coverage of the ISRC claims, it later rejected the allegations and said it had examined CCTV footage which it said showed “very significant discrepancies” to what had been alleged.
The Cork branch of the ISRS then met this week and later approached the Munster Football Association with suggestions that would allow a safe return of its members to officiating matches at Ballea Park.
Night-time match ban
It was reported that among its suggestions was a call for no night-time matches at Ballea Park, for reserved parking for match officials near the changing rooms, and for Carrigaline stewards to be available to escort officials off the pitch at half-time and full-time and to their car after the match.
The branch said any future agreements must be agreed by all, in written form and must be for the long term.
“Until then, our directive to our members in all leagues in Cork still stands: all members of the ISRS Cork branch are not to officiate Carrigaline United matches at Ballea Park, in all leagues and competitions until further notice,” it said.
The club reacted in a statement on Friday and said it first saw the ISRS