Referee 'wrestled to the ground' in '18th attack' on Irish soccer officials since Daniel Sweeney assault

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Referee 'wrestled to the ground' in '18th attack' on Irish soccer officials since Daniel Sweeney assault
Referee 'wrestled to the ground' in '18th attack' on Irish soccer officials since Daniel Sweeney assault

A soccer match in County Wexford had to be abandoned in the 70th minute after a referee was allegedly assaulted at the weekend.

It is alleged Michael Comiskey was wrestled to the ground and assaulted during the match between The Ballagh United and Gorey Celtic on Sunday morning.

Gorey Celtic were leading Wexford Football League Fourth Division game 5-0 at the time before the official was forced to abandon the game after the alleged incident.

The Chairman of Ballagh Utd, Colm O’Neill, confirmed that the match was called off following the alleged attack on the referee who is understood to not have sustained any injuries.

Gardaí were called to the scene following the incident and a report is said to have been lodged with them.

This is at least the 18th attack on a referee since Daniel Sweeney was hospitalised after being attacked in Offaly last November.

The Irish Soccer Referees’ Society President, Paul O’Brien, said his members are scared going to some games.

Mr O’Brien said: “It’s another one of 18, to be honest with you. Back in November when Daniel was assaulted we were told this was a game changer and that referees would have to be respected and protected.

“But since then we’ve had at least 18 referees assaulted, ranging from minor to serious assaults. It’s crazy.”

“We all understand the frustration on the pitch, players getting upset, but attacking a referee, it has just gone beyond the beyond at this stage.”

Wexford Football League Secretary, Gertrude Rowlands, told the Irish Mirror: “We will consider the referee’s report and then decide on a course of action. There’s nothing more we can say at the moment.”

Source: Sports