Albania referees to boycott matches in wake of violence

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Soccer referees in Albania plan to boycott league matches until they’re satisfied they can do their jobs safely.

The referees’ association issued a statement Thursday saying they want police to control stadium security after the “failed experiment” with private firms.

The boycott comes a day after Albania’s football federation expelled FK Kamza from this season’s championship and fined the club 1 million Leks ($9,000) following violence against a match official on the weekend.

Three club officials were suspended and fined after officials and fans surrounded referee Eldorjan Hamiti and hit him several times at the end of Saturday’s league match against KF Laci, which ended 1-1 after the visitors were awarded a late penalty.