The Scottish referees’ strike of this weekend’s matches is going ahead after the officials refused to back down, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) has revealed.
“This is a very sad day for Scottish football,” SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said in a statement.
“After further positive talks yesterday, and having received the backing of both the SPL and the SFL, I felt that we had shown our commitment to the refereeing fraternity and that they had recognised that substantial progress had been made,” he added.
The SFA had set a deadline of midnight on Wednesday to resolve the dispute over abuse from players and managers, but were informed by the referees that they were not backing down.
“If this withdrawal of labour goes ahead it will be the fans, clubs, sponsors and media partners who will suffer and that cannot be good for the game in this country,” said Regan.
“I would urge the Category 1 referees to reconsider their decision and, having benefited from the wave of sympathy for their current situation, plus the offer of affirmative action, realise the potential impact of their actions.”
Category 1 officials handle matches in the Scottish Premier League.
The boycott means the SFA will be forced to use officials from other international associations to enable some fixtures to take place.