An Oireachtas committee has been hearing about how much of an issue referee abuse is in a number of different sports.

referee whistle lying on red and yellow cards

(Source: Flickr)


The director general of the GAA has admitted the scale of abuse towards referees may be under-reported.

An Oireachtas committee has heard today that it is a growing problem across all sports.

Rugby officials have received 27 reports of abuse towards referees this year, while the FAI has dealt with 34 incidents of physical assault since 2019.

Tom Ryan from the GAA has said the issue is not widespread in football and hurling, but they might not have the full picture:

“Over the course of the last year we would have had towards 1,000 inter-county games.  Within those games we would have had 104 players who were sent off.  Three of those were for abuse and those three instances resulted in suspensions.  In addition to that, there was one case involving a team official.

“I would have to admit, that speaks to me of perhaps an under-reporting.”