Some clubs in the Donegal League have such a dislike for certain referees that they switch off the hot water in the referee’s dressing room so that the match officials can’t avail of a proper shower.
The claim was made at Monday night’s league AGM by Disciplinary Secretary, Terry Leyden, who said the behaviour of certain clubs was childish.
“But it is happening,” he said.
Mr. Leyden highlighted other incidents during the season which he said were a major cause for concern.
These included two cases of discipline where one player spat at a referee and another where a player pushed a referee. Both players were given one year bans by the league’s disciplinary committee.
“Referees are there to do a job and we have to respect them,” Mr. Leyden said.
“Maybe we have to go back to basics and teach these young fellows that if we don’t have referees, we don’t have football.”
Mr. Leyden said club facilities, in some cases, can also be a problem and need addressing.
He insisted that it was no longer good enough for a club to provide just one toilet for players, managers and match officials.
“We know that referees need a toilet and a shower, and preferably one that works,” he added.
Mr. Leyden, who is also the league’s Assistant Secretary, gave a run-down on bookings, sendings-off and suspensions during the season and said the total number of players booked in the Saturday and Sunday leagues was 1, 129.
The league’s disciplinary committee met seven times during the season (once a month) and he said it was good to see that in the vast majority of cases, the matters dealt with by the committee related to sendings off, and nothing more serious than that.
Mr. Leyden however, said the same old problems were still there. “There's a lack of respect for referees and an awful lot of abuse out there,” he said.