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Wicklow League matches called off due to no Wicklow ISRS member reportedly being available


Two Wicklow and District Football League matches were reportedly called off on Sunday due to no Wicklow Branch member of the Irish Soccer Referees Society (ISRS) being available to take charge of them.

But the issue has been disputed by the Wicklow ISRS who took to social media after the Wicklow League had posted on their Facebook page on the matter.

A total of eight League and Cup fixtures were down for decision in the Garden County on Sunday March 24 – with six matches scheduled for the morning.

Striker Online understands that nine Wicklow ISRS officials are currently available to take charge of all Wicklow League fixtures.

But three of them were unavailable this weekend.

The Wicklow League posted on their Facebook page on Sunday morning that ‘Newtown United v St. Peters & Dargle Rovers v Aughrim Rangers are Both off. No ref available for either game.’

Having already played twice in the Andy McEvoy Premier Division, the Newtown/St. Peter’s third match was to be played at a neutral venue, while Dargle against Aughrim in Division 3 was set for the People’s Park in Bray. 

Both were set for morning kick-offs.

That prompted a reply for the Wicklow ISRS.

It reads “A little bit of misinformation by the league this morning on Facebook, so we just need to clarify something:

1) There were referee’s available this morning but not asked, although we do admit not enough.

2) The referee’s that were “not available” were covering matches.

3) There were a number of referee’s available this afternoon, were the clubs asked to swap times?

4) Our information is that one game this morning required a neutral venue but one couldn’t be sourced.

We are not denying that there’s a referee shortage, it’s the same everywhere. If anyone is interested in joining us please contact us as we’re trying to get a course run here in Wicklow.”

Striker Online understands that a number of Wicklow League matches having been called off previously this season due to no match official being available.

Currently, in a separate issue, officials from the Wicklow branch of the Irish Soccer Referees Society (ISRS) have been unavailable to take charge of Rathnew AFC matches.

The matter has rumbled on for a number of months.

The Shamrock Park based side had been removed by the Wicklow League Executive Committee in December 2018 from the Pat O’Toole Division 1 after their abandoned tie with Avonmore FC at the start that month.

However, the Villagers appealed that decision to the Leinster Football Association (LFA).

As a result of that hearing, the LFA reinstated Rathnew to play in the Garden County.

However, they issued a number of stipulations. Rathnew have to play their remaining matches away from Shamrock Park and at their opponents’ venue, thus losing home advantage in all competitions.

The matter has been taken to arbitration by the LFA with the FAI since the Wicklow ISRS stance. But no mediation resultion has been found so far.

The Wicklow ISRS earlier this month stated that ‘personal safety concerns’ was the main reason for their course of action.

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