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The association representing Lewis and Harris football clubs has today (Wednesday 3 August) warned island spectators that their behaviour at the side of the pitch could lead to their club being fined.

Lewis and Harris Football Association recently held a meeting at which the issue of foul language from supporters was discussed in full.

They said that foul and abusive language by spectators had been directed at match officials in charge of LHFA fixtures, leading to match officials refusing to officiate at island league games, and to spectators with young children being forced to leave the ground. 

In a statement released today they said: “A match cannot commence without a recognised official, yet match officials drop out due to previous abuse and intimidation. 

“As a result, the LHFA fixture list has now been revised for the remainder of the season which has meant in some semi-final ties there will only be one official to officiate the game, which is not a satisfactory situation. 

“Remember we all make mistakes and referees and club linesmen are only human, so we should always respect the match officials' decisions, difficult as it may be especially on the occasions when you think they have made the wrong decisions. 

“We ask that in particular that all spectators, along with players and officials of our clubs, respect the referees to help ensure the continuing involvement of referees in our league and also hopefully attract new referees. 

“This also applies to club linesmen who, as a result of the abuse and intimidation, are no longer willing to undertake the duties of linesman for their clubs. 

“If it can be proved spectators have used foul and abusive language, they may be asked to leave the ground or even banned from the ground and the club may also be fined as a result of a spectator's action.”