Fixtures, Results, Special Events, Ect,
STAR Hearts Kingdom Caledonian League game against Lumphinnans United was called off in bizarre, but perfectly legal, circumstances.
With both teams warming up,referee Neil Martin, from Glenrothes,went out to check the pitch. The match official then produced a measuring tape and proceeded to check the width of the various line markings. After consulting with both managers,he made the decision to call the match off due to an illegally marked pitch. The laws of the game state the field of play shall be marked with distinctive lines not more than five inches in width, and that the goal line will be marked the same width as the goalposts and crossbar whose width also cannot exceed five inches.
In all instances , Mr Martin found the lines to be around seven inches wide and felt he would be breaking the rules by allowing the game to go ahead. Fife Council are responsible for marking the pitches in the Dunfermline area. Duncan Gray,who looks after the parks in the area for Fife Council said: "I have spoken to the operator who has said he will ensure the line will be no more than four inches in future. It's the first time we have ever had a complaint about the width of the lines,but that's the referee's decision and you cant argue with it." Fife Referees Association secretary, Kevin Fair, added: "The referee was well within his rights within the laws of the game. As an association we recognise the difficulties that situations like this cause for clubs and will be issuing appropriate guidelines which will suggest that in such circumstances,referees can play the game then report to the authorities . We can't comment specifically on the match as we have not yet received the referees report, but at the time he made the right decision."
"The ramifications of the referees decision could be long lasting," said Fife amateur football reporter, Shane Fenton. "With a precedence now being set, many of the clubs in that area may not be allowed to play home matches until the council rectifies the situation. In 30 years of reporting amateur football,this is the first time i have heard of a game being clled off in these circumstances!"
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