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Fermanagh top brass set to blow the whistle on absent referees

By John Campbell

The Fermanagh county board is preparing to take a tough line with clubs who fail to provide referees for matches within the county.

Martin Higgins, one of Ulster's leading inter-county whistlers and a driving force behind refereeing in the Erne county, is urging that sanctions should be imposed on clubs and now board chairman Greg Kelly has supported this plea.

Higgins has informed the board that there are currently 34 referees listed within the county but pointed out that a number of these are injured while others are not making themselves available for matches on a regular basis.

Higgins is particularly keen to see that the matter is addressed so that a crisis situation can be avoided.

"The fact of the matter is that we still have eight clubs with just one referee and one club with none," points out a frustrated Higgins.

"This is not good enough in all the circumstances.

"I strongly feel that the sanctions should be implemented although this could also prove to be a fluid situation if clubs were able to meet their requirements."

His view is endorsed by chairman Kelly who maintains: "Sanctions will just have to be taken. It's time for action."

League games are currently being played in Fermanagh and it is hoped to have a fuller quota of referees available as the season progresses.

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