League suspends games over ref abuse

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Edge Hill JFL to suspend fixtures © The FA

© The FA

More than 600 young footballers are to miss out on games next weekend after Edge Hill Junior Football League decided to cancel all fixtures in response to persistent referee abuse.

The league, based in Wavertree, hosts games for teams ranging from under 7s to under 12s and announced the decision through its Twitter page, saying: “Due to persistent abuse/threats towards refs, all games have been suspended. A meeting with managers will take place next sunday (3rd November)  at 10am”

A notice on the Edge Hill JFL website has said the meeting will be for all managers to attend to discuss ways of tackling this unacceptable behaviour towards referees from the sidelines from both managers and parents.

The league is trying to send out a message to the parents to support and not abuse.

Later another tweet from the league read: “Not great for kids but we can’t tolerate abuse towards refs, especially in front of young kids. something needs to be done before it gets out of hand and officials get hurt, without refs there isn’t a match.”

The stance has been greeted with strong support from grassroots clubs, including Gateacre FC and Wilko FC with league members, Woolton Juniors FC, tweeting: “Dreadful that you’ve had to take this stance but kudos to you for doing so.”

A spokesperson for the Liverpool County FA told JMU Journalism: “We have still not heard from the Edge Hill Junior Football League. Once referee reports are dealt with by the respective league they will then be sent to us where we will look at the reports closely.”

About Jack Horrocks, JMU Journalism