Outside Edge: Stop running down our referees

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The Independent Online

Scotland's top-flight referees are striking because they're fed up with clubs criticising them, but lower in the leagues it's the players the officials need to watch out for. A footballer in the Southport and District League swore at the referee, David Harkness, for failing to award a free-kick, so Harkness booked him. At which point Joseph Rimmer, a nightclub doorman (why are we not surprised?), stomped off the pitch, climbed into his Range Rover and tried to run Harkness down, before threatening to shoot him. Rimmer has now been shot off to jail for six months. Down in Cornwall's Mining League Division One, the referee was busy with his notebook as Madron FC learnt that it's advisable to field more than seven players when facing the league leaders; Illogan AFC beat them 55-0, leaving Madron with a record of played 10, lost 10 and a goal difference of -203. "I have nothing but admiration for their boys, they came into the bar afterwards," said Illogan's assistant manager. They might have been better off going to the bar beforehand, and staying there.


Number of games Ajax's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez has been banned for after biting the PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal. Suarez has decided not to appeal; he obviously doesn't want to make a meal of it.

Bad moon rising for Singapore

An email floods in from Edge's reader, pointing out that the name of the South Korean baseball player we mentioned as competing at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, last week is actually Shin-Soo Choo, not Sin-Soo Choo. Apologies to all concerned for dropping our aitches, and apologies too from the Singapore men's water polo team at the Games to their government, who have taken a dim view of the team's trunks. Modelled after the national flag, the design places a crescent moon on the front of the trunks in distinctly jaunty fashion, slap bang in the middle. Possibly the first recorded case of mooning from the front. "We didn't have the slightest intention to do anything funny on our trunks to insult Singapore or the national flag," said the team manager, Samuel Wong. Let's hope one Wong can make it right.

Good week

Bangladesh, won their first gold at the Asian Games by beating Afghanistan in the men's cricket final with three balls to spare... Matthew Hatton, Ricky's younger brother, successfully defended his European welterweight title for the second time with a third-round stoppage of the previously unbeaten Swiss Roberto Belge... Amy Williams, winner of Britain's first individual Winter Olympic gold for 30 years earlier this year, received her MBE... and Günther Hansel, 70-year-old German angler reeled in a record-breaking 220lb halibut.

Bad week

England's Barmy Army, thrashed by seven wickets in a T20 game against their Australian counterparts, The Fanatics... Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 supremo, and his girlfriend, Fabiana Flosi, mugged and robbed of jewellery and watches worth £200,000... and Sorin Cartu, sacked as manager of Romania'sCFR Cluj after kicking the dugout to pieces atBasel when his side conceded a goal in the Champions' League.

Luxembourgers are mad about hopping

American students not hanging around in bars or devising ways to become dot.com billionaires have found another way to stave off the ghastly prospect of actually studying: playing quidditch. This year's Quidditch World Cup, held at DeWitt Clinton Park in New York City a couple of days before the premiere of the latest Harry Potter movie, attracted 46 teams, practically all from US colleges; the winning snitch-snatchers were Middlebury College in Vermont, who devised this land-based version of the game. We Europeans might mount a challenge if we weren't too busy with our own niche sports: the UN have just added hopping in Luxembourg and oil wrestling in Turkey to their list of "intangible heritage" activities. The latter staged its 648th annual tournament this year, during which the contestants stripped to the waist and coated themselves collectively in three tons of olive oil. Dressing and undressing at the same time.