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Thursday 10 Aug 2023
Irish FA Head of Refereeing Mike Riley welcomes ‘Catch Yourself On’ initiative

The Irish Football Association’s Head of Refereeing has given his backing to the new ‘Catch Yourself On’ campaign aimed at tackling abuse towards football match officials.

The initiative, which also seeks to boost referee retention, was officially launched on Thursday morning (August 10).

Former Premier League referee Mike Riley, who began his new role at the Irish FA this week, said: “We want to recruit more people into refereeing so they can be part of this great game and then it’s about making sure we have the support mechanisms and developmental tools and people around to nurture the talent that’s there.


“That goes right through to the very highest levels in the Irish Premiership to make sure we get the very best out of all those match officials to continue to improve standards.

“What Catch Yourself On is to me is a phrase that makes people think and creates that little bit of peer pressure that says the majority of people behave really well towards officials so let’s take the cases that don’t and make them understand that it’s not acceptable.

“We don’t want abuse towards match officials. We don’t want to drive people out of the game; we want to encourage them to be part of it.”

The 58-year-old ex-international referee joined the Irish FA after stepping down as general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the organisation which provides professional officials for Premier League, English Football League and Football Association competitions in England.

 You can watch the full interview with Mike Riley above and the Catch Yourself On campaign video below.

Find out more about 'Catch Yourself On':