SPL matches handed green light

BY foxsports • November 25, 2010

The SFA have revealed that all six SPL matches will go ahead this weekend after confirming the appointment of referees from outside Scotland.

Scotland's grade one referees had confirmed that they would be standing by their decision to withdraw their labour this weekend.

However, despite officials from Iceland, Norway, Wales and Sweden indicating that they would not be taking charge of matches in Scotland, the SFA issued a statement claiming that they have found officials from outside the country willing to fly in.

The statement read: "The Scottish FA can confirm that agreement has been reached with several European National Associations to ensure matches in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and the Alba Cup final will be covered this weekend.

"Negotiations are continuing with other national associations to help ensure that some, if not all, matches in the Scottish Football League go ahead as normal.

"Clubs will be informed by 3pm today whether their matches will go ahead or not in light of the Scottish Category One referees electing to persist with their withdrawal of labour."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan told BBC Reporting Scotland: "I'm delighted with the team of administrators who have worked tirelessly to speak to a number of associations across Europe.

"We have been able to confirm that all the SPL matches will be taking place this weekend plus the Alba Cup final on Sunday.

"In addition we are also working on the Scottish Football League and Scottish Cup fixtures and are very confident that a number of those will also be able to go ahead this weekend.

"We can't confirm any details at the moment but we are hoping to give some news on that as and when it is available."

Regan continued: "These are FIFA listed officials or category one referees from their own countries.

"So they are proper referees.

"Fans will have no worries that they are getting top officials to referee the games at the weekend."

Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPL, added: "It is really regrettable that there is this strike going ahead but we are delighted with the response from the SFA.

"There has been a lot of hard work from Stewart and his team to make sure that all of our SPL matches this weekend will be refereed.

"So whilst the whole situation is hugely regrettable, we are delighted that there is a positive outcome for supporters, for clubs, sponsors and our media partners who depend on these games going on."

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