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Thursday 29 Feb 2024
MOLO survey launched as part of ‘Catch Yourself On’ campaign

The Irish Football Association’s ongoing campaign aimed at tackling poor behaviour towards match officials in Northern Ireland is gathering pace. 

The latest phase of the ‘Catch Yourself On’ campaign is the launch of a survey to gather views on the introduction of Match Official Liaison Officers within grassroots clubs. 

In addition Mike Riley, the Irish FA’s Head of Refereeing, has revealed statistics which show match officials operating at the highest level of the game here are being consistent in their approach when dealing with dissent from players among other things. 

A Match Official Liaison Officer (MOLO) would act as a single point of contact for support and assistance to appointed match officials at games. 

The association believes having MOLOs at clubs would help to improve behaviour on and off the pitch. 

It is aiming to pilot the initiative once the results from the survey have been collected.

Each MOLO would meet and welcome the match official on arrival, escort the match official to their changing room, assist the match official to resolve any potential kit clash issues and provide the match official with the match balls and correct any issues identified by the match official. 

The MOLO would also deal with any field of play equipment issues which may be identified by the match official, such as nets not properly fixed to the goalposts or corner flags not in place. 

And the person from each club designated to carry out the role would show the match official to their changing room at the end of the game and at half-time where appropriate, and show the match official to their car/from the ground at the conclusion of the game. 

The MOLO survey, which is aimed at club officials, coaches, parents of players, match officials and others connected with grassroots clubs, can be taken HERE.

Meanwhile, Mike Riley has revealed that the average number of cautions per game in the NIFL Premiership and Championship stood at 5.1 in the first half of the season, while the number of cautions for dissent has risen considerably (67 this season to date) and the number of cautions for delaying the restart has gone up as well (48 so far). 

The Irish FA’s Head of Refereeing explained: “This shows match officials are being consistent in their approach and that players are being held to account more regularly. 

“We knew when we launched this campaign last summer that things are not going to change overnight. It is a long term campaign.” 


In an interview with, he insisted ‘Catch Yourself On’ was “a very good campaign” and he praised managers in the NIFL Premiership and Championship for embracing it. 

He also explained: “If you take what we have done at Premiership and Championship level so far I think it has been really consistent. 

“Our challenge now is to make sure we cascade that to football throughout the country, particularly at grassroots level, and give those referees the support they need to make sure all the principles of Catch Yourself On get embedded in local football.”

‘Catch Yourself On’ encourages players, coaches, club officials and supporters, as well as parents, to think about their behaviour towards referees to eradicate abuse and protect the safety and wellbeing of match officials.

Part of a UEFA-wide project focused on promoting and protecting match officials, CYO also aims to boost referee retention and recruitment of match officials at all levels of the game.

MOLO Survey