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Referees cry foul over club critics

Referees in Brazil are threatening to go on strike because of increased criticism from players, coaches and club directors.

The referees say they will halt the Brazilian league unless the local confederation and the nation's sports tribunal take serious action against those "not respecting" the officiating crews.

The complaint comes after a wave of criticism from players and coaches upset about the way referees have been dealing with handballs inside the area. Many penalties have been awarded regardless of the players' intention to block shots.

The referees said the change came because of a recommendation from the Brazilian confederation, but there is still a lot of confusion and inconsistency from match to match.

The referee's union said the strike proposal would be discussed on Tuesday.

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