Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


SFA secure deal for replacement referees

All Clydesdale Bank Premier League matches will go ahead this weekend after the Scottish Football Association reached agreement with "several European national associations", the SFA have said.

This morning Scotland's grade one referees confirmed that they would be standing by their decision to withdraw their labour this weekend.

However, despite officials from Iceland, Norway, Wales and Sweden indicating that they would not be taking charge of matches in Scotland, the SFA issued a statement claiming that they have found officials from outside the country willing to fly in.

The statement read: "The Scottish FA can confirm that agreement has been reached with several European National Associations to ensure matches in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and the Alba Cup final will be covered this weekend.

"Negotiations are continuing with other national associations to help ensure that some, if not all, matches in the Scottish Football League go ahead as normal.

"Clubs will be informed by 3pm today whether their matches will go ahead or not in light of the Scottish Category One referees electing to persist with their withdrawal of labour."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan told BBC Reporting Scotland: "I'm delighted with the team of administrators who have worked tirelessly to speak to a number of associations across Europe.

"We have been able to confirm that all the SPL matches will be taking place this weekend plus the Alba Cup final on Sunday.

"In addition we are also working on the Scottish Football League and Scottish Cup fixtures and are very confident that a number of those will also be able to go ahead this weekend.

"We can't confirm any details at the moment but we are hoping to give some news on that as and when it is available."