SIL chief happy to see less cards

SOCCER: Meteltec SIL chief executive Alan Gorham admits that he is at odds with the football world.He had a public falling out with colleagues on the top table at the first meeting called by the league to bolster the battle to retain referees.

By Elvin King

SOCCER

METALTEC SIL chief executive Alan Gorham admits that he is at odds with the football world.

He had a public falling out with colleagues on the top table at the first meeting called by the league to bolster the battle to retain referees.

Members from a number of Ipswich clubs attended the meeting at Ransomes Sports Club and Gorham made his feelings known about the number of red and yellow cards shown these days.

"I was agreeing with a question from the floor that match officials should use common sense in some instances and not always resort to the book," said Gorham.

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A former Football League linesman and Southern League and Football Combination referee, Gorham sent off just nine players in 17 years in the middle.

"I never found it necessary to send off too many players," he added.

"But on reflection I do acknowledge that things have changed in recent seasons and it is now mandatory to issue red cards in many cases.

"Perhaps I will have to stay at odds with the rest of the football world."

Every club in the SIL has been invited to bring at least six players/officials to meetings being held around the area between now and the middle of next month.

Some matches in the league are being played without fully qualified officials – and the league is taking steps to put the matter right and stop referees quitting the game.

Suffolk started the season 60 referees down on the same time last year.

Although 16 fresh officials have just qualified to take charge of adult games following a course run by George Whight and David Cook from the Ipswich Referees' Association.

One of the biggest reasons officials have for quitting the sport is the verbal abuse they receive at games.

Gorham added: "There is clearly a situation where referees are having problems with how clubs and players are approaching them during a game.

"We are trying to put that right with these meetings."

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