Belfast Telegraph

Former referee Alan Snoddy relishing his Cyprus role

By Stuart McKinley

Former Irish League referee Alan Snoddy has landed himself a new high profile role - in Cyprus.

Snoddy, who officiated in top flight football in Northern Ireland for more than two decades, has been appointed as head of refereeing at the Cyprus FA and will take up the post next June.

He also refereed at the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, as well as taking charge of a large number of international and European club competition matches during 21 years on the Fifa list.

And Snoddy will need that vast experience as he begins work in a country with a record of refereeing controversies.

Just two months ago, a pipe bomb exploded outside the offices of the Cyprus Referee's Association in the city of Nicosia. A member of the association had a fire bomb thrown at his car in Limassol and another international referee's car was damaged by a bomb earlier this year.

"The job has its challenges and it is not an easy country to referee in," said Snoddy.

"The fans are passionate about the game and that creates an atmosphere inside stadiums which sometimes can be heated.

"I am not even going to try to pretend I can do anything about that. I just have to focus on the performance and development of the referees and I'm not expecting to make an overnight change."

Snoddy was head of refereeing with the Irish FA from 2006 until he left the post last year. Since then he has been working with Uefa, both in their referee development programme and as a referee observer at Champions League, Europa League and international matches.

It was through that involvement that the opportunity in Cyprus arose.

"I had thought that I'd retired, but this was an opportunity that I couldn't resist or turn down," said Snoddy.

"I will have a bit more responsibility than I did at the IFA and it will involve time away from home, but I'd be away once or twice a month with Uefa anyway.

"I have been in refereeing for 43 years. I never thought that I would be involved for so long or have the opportunities I've had."

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