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Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Friday, 26 November 2010

Referee strike wipes out Scottish Football League card

Scottish referees voted to withdraw their labour at the weekend
Referees voted to withdraw their labour over the weekend

The Scottish Football League has been forced to cancel the only match that looked to have survived this weekend's referees' strike.

Polish officials withdrew their offer of cover on Friday morning and the SFL cancelled the Morton v Falkirk First Division match soon after.

The game at Cappielow had been given the go-ahead after the drawing of lots to decide which clubs would not be hit.

The ALBA Cup final between Queen of the South v Ross County goes ahead.

On Thursday, category one referees confirmed they would be standing by their decision to withdraw their labour on Saturday and Sunday.

However, it appears foreign officials have been found to look after 10 of the 20 senior matches in Scotland.

All six Scottish Premier League matches are due to be played as scheduled, as well as three Scottish Cup replays.

Queen of the South meet Ross County at McDiarmid Park on Sunday and SFL chief executive David Longmuir is glad their showpiece cup final will be played.

"It will be a great day for these two clubs and everyone at the SFL wishes fans of both clubs all the very best," he said.

It's a major financial financial blow all and because of a squabble that has nothing whatsoever to do with the First Division

Donald Findlay
Cowdenbeath chairman

"It is sad, however, that our own Scottish officials will not referee this match.

"The SFL have worked tirelessly with our colleagues in the SFA and SPL over the last few days to reach a satisfactory conclusion for everyone in Scottish football. We were not able to achieve this and, therefore, the weekend of action by our refereeing colleagues will be going ahead.

"We trust that the fans of SFL clubs understand the difficult position we have been placed in this week and hope that we will move on in a constructive way and in the best interests of the game."

Cowdenbeath chairman Donald Findlay is furious that the Fife derby with Dunfermline has fallen victim of the strike.

"This is a sorry mess," he told BBC Radio Scotland. "This is our biggest game of season, we rely on fixtures like this to keep the club going.

"It's a major financial financial blow all and because of a squabble that has nothing whatsoever to do with the First Division.

"I will be investigating the matter of compensation over the weekend."

Stirling Albion also say they will be pursuing potential lack of earnings, now that their First Division clash with Partick Thistle is off.

"We believe reversing the fixture to a midweek game will cost us £6,000 - £7,000," said club spokesman Paul Goodwin

"We'll be interested to talk to the SFA and we'll be looking for compensation.

"That is just the gate receipts. We have already spent money that we will lose. We have printed programmes, we have staff commitments."

Matches off on Saturday, 27 November:

First Division

Cowdenbeath v Dunfermline
Morton v Falkirk
Raith Rovers v Dundee
Stirling Albion v Partick Thistle

Second Division

Ayr United v East Fife
Dumbarton v Alloa Athletic

Third Division

Albion Rovers v Stranraer
Clyde v Queen's Park
Elgin City v Berwick Rangers
Montrose v East Stirlingshire

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see also
SPL survives referee withdrawals
27 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
No gag for managers - Calderwood
25 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
STUC chief backs referees strike
23 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Scottish referee crisis explained
22 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Chick Young's view
22 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Scottish referees vote to strike
21 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier

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