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Football referee should be shown the red card for gaffe that's cost Warrenpoint their league status

letter of the day: pay the penalty

It would be so unfair if football referee Ross Dunlop was (as is being suggested) relegated from the Irish Premiership to the Championship - unfair to the Championship, that is.

There should be a ceremonial confiscation of his whistle (never to be returned) after his gaffe on Saturday, when he awarded an unwarranted penalty to Dungannon Swifts against Warrenpoint Town which saw the Co Down club relegated.

It robbed The Point of their Premiership status after their years of hard work and determination, which moved them to the top echelons in the first place.

Dunlop made a similar faux pas a year ago when a double gaffe denied Portadown in the Irish Cup final. He failed to spot an obvious foul on the Ports midfielder Michael Gault when he seemed destined to score and Glentoran's keeper picked up a pass-back - after which the Glens scored the only goal of the match.

So, this referee has wrecked the hopes of both clubs within a year - more so Warrenpoint, a well-run club, which may never recover. No wonder manager Barry Gray, the players and fans are sick to the stomach.

The trouble is, Gray will probably be hauled over the coals for daring to criticise this official, while Dunlop - as was the case last year - will probably spend a few weeks in the lower reaches and bounce back up.

Warrenpoint won't have that option.


Portadown, Co Armagh

Belfast Telegraph


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