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Referees end strike action after assurances

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Cyprus’ governing football body said Wednesday it had averted an indefinite strike by top-tier referees over concerns about their personal safety following the alleged firebombing of a car belonging to a ref’s mother.

The Cyprus FA said two days of talks and much “serious contemplation” resulted in referees’ agreeing to get back to work right away, ahead of a full schedule of first-division matches this weekend.

The wildcat strike called on Monday resulted in the postponement of a first-division match between Nea Salamina v Ethnikos Achna.

According to a statement posted on the FA’s website, the association, along with referees, will seek to sit down with both the justice minister and the chief of police to outline “specific suggestions” to ensure referee safety.

FA president George Koumas also dispatched letters to each of the presidents of the first division’s 14 teams asking for their contribution to “easing tensions” by taking specific measures.

The FA said these specific measures won’t “necessarily be publicised.”

“The CFA reiterates its determination to support referees in carrying out their duties and condemns whichever actions are directed against referees and their family members,” the statement said.

Referees had reportedly said they were fed up with becoming the targets of criminal actions against themselves, their families and property over what some fans say is shoddy officiating.

Referees claim that none of the many attacks against their property has ever been solved. (source AP)