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Referees were subject to age discrimination, tribunal rules

Referees were subject to age discrimination, tribunal rules

A number of top-level football referees were subjected to age discrimination when they were forced to retire at the age of 48.

This is according to an industrial tribunal panel, who concluded that the four had been treated in a manner that is unfair under UK laws, the Times reports.

Although the ruling was made last month, it has only just been announced.

According to the news provider, it could have "far-reaching consequences" for the sport.

Robert Martin, Andy Williams, John Stokes and Mark Hutchinson were all assistant referees in the Premier League and had reached the age of 48.

It was decided that even if the Professional Game Match Officials Limited - which was established in 2001 to provide referees for all professional football matches in England - was justified in having a maximum age for staff, it had not satisfied the tribunal that this was 48.

A further hearing is to take place to determine whether the men will be reinstated.