Offaly gardai investigate after referee assaulted during soccer match

Gardaí are investigating the incident

Gardaí are investigating the incident

Secretary of the Combined Counties Football League Chris Hand told RTE Soccer that the level of violence perpetrated on Mr Sweeney has shocked the community.

A photo showing Sweeney, a married father of two, in a hospital bed with severe facial injuries was shared by fellow referee Joe Cassidy.

It's understood that a dispute arose towards the end of the match between Horseleap FC and Mullingar Town FC, and several players and a spectator were involved in the incident.

"I'm told it was a good game of football and Mullingar won 3-1".

Mullingar Town have declined to comment.

A REFEREE has been injured in an assault after a football match in Co Offaly, in what is the latest attack on a sports official.

Montgomery said it was only the second time during his three years in charge - after a minor previous incident - that a referee in the league had been targeted.

The Irish Soccer Referee Society has also issued a statement of support for Sweeney on Facebook.

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O'Brien said "assaults and abuse are on the increase" and called for action to tackle the problem.

"There is a chronic shortage of referees in the country. It's an assault plain and simple", another added.

"Without referees there is no game. We, as referees, should be viewed as a resource and in turn we should be given the protection and respect we deserve".

He was removed to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore where he was diagnosed with having a broken jaw and nose and damage to his eye socket.

A referee suffered a broken jaw and a damaged eye socket in a shocking assault in a auto park following an amateur football match.

His injures are not life threatening.

The local Gardai police confirmed they were investigating after being called out to reports of a fight involving a referee, but said that no arrests had yet been made.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact Tullamore Garda Station 057-9327600".

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