Belfast Telegraph

I thought about quitting after abuse: Crangle

By Graham Luney

Raymond Crangle has admitted he has considered quitting refereeing after becoming the victim of "venomous abuse".

The Fifa official was in the firing line at the weekend again when Coleraine criticised the awarding of two penalties to Crusaders in their 2-0 defeat.

The west-Belfast man admitted that the first spot-kick for Johnny Watt's challenge on Paul Heatley was a mistake but he stands by his second big penalty call when David Ogilby was accused of pulling the shirt of Jordan Owens. Officials have always been an easy target for critics but Crangle feels some of the criticism has been "unwarranted abuse".

"I think many of us have come in for unwarranted flak and are criticised by some managers who might want to deflect attention away from their team's performance," said Crangle.

"I know criticism comes with the territory but we don't need to referee matches. We don't have to take the vile abuse. I know we get paid but we do the job because we want to, not because we need to.

"When you get abuse on a Saturday and it's all over the Sunday papers it's not nice for the kids to see and there are times when I have asked myself do I need the hassle?

"I've spoken to former refs who have said the abuse had an adverse affect on them but while some officials may be deep thinkers and take things personally, I'm an outgoing character and my attitude is learn from your mistakes and keep going.

"Like managers, strikers or goalkeepers we are not infallible and we will make mistakes."

On the two controversial decisions at Coleraine, Crangle added: "The first one was a foul and yellow card leading to a dismissal but my number one assistant Andy Neeson said it was inside the box so we made that call but on reflection we got it horribly wrong, it was an honest mistake and I've apologised to Coleraine.

"For the second one, I had warned the players about shirt pulling but big OG (Ogilby) engaged in what looked like a shirt exchange with Owens and I felt I had no option but to award a penalty."

The Irish FA are preparing to release a refereeing strategy for the way forward and Crangle describes it as "ambitious".

"We will embrace it," he added. "We want to see our product improve and the IFA are tackling the issue. The reality is we are human beings who will still make mistakes."

Belfast Telegraph


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