Referee blows his whistle on match after paint blunder

Players and officials were left baffled by the double lines
Players and officials were left baffled by the double lines
Have your say

It would be enough to wrong foot even the most eagle-eyed linesman.

A football fixture had to be called off after a groundsman’s effort at freshening up the lines on the pitch threatened to leave everyone seeing double.

South Edinburgh side Tynecastle were due to host the cup clash with Midlothian’s Whitehill Welfare at their Fernieside Recreation Ground – but SFA referee Paul Robertson was less than impressed by the paint job.

He called off the game fearing disputes as players and officials were left baffled. He reported the matter to the East of Scotland league, which will arrange a rematch at a later date.

Andrew Renwick, a member of the management committee at Whitehill Welfare, based in the village of Rosewell, said the apparent blunder had raised a few eyebrows.

He said: “We were due to travel to Fernieside for the game on Saturday, but Tynecastle called and said the pitch had been ‘double lined’.

“Not all of it, but some large sections had been gone over wrong and ended up not in line. The match ref quite rightly said he wasn’t prepared to officiate and reported it to East of Scotland football.

“We were quite surprised, I certainly haven’t come across it before.”

The teams were competing in the first round of the King Cup and will have to reschedule.

Mr Renwick said the game was the third to be cancelled in as many weeks.

He added: “I know the committee and the coach were disappointed, and the players had been looking forward to it.

“It’s the third game in a row we’ve had that’s been cancelled, the other two were because of the weather.

“We as a club would be hoping Tynecastle will raise it with the council.”

It is understood the Tynecastle management visited the pitch at Fernieside last Friday morning over fears the grounds were frozen over to find council groundsmen re-painting.

However, when they returned that afternoon the lines had instead been doubled. It is understood that the workers had been trying to straighten out part of the pitch, but the move went awry.

Alistair Wilkie, the Tynecastle secretary, declined to discuss exactly what had happened but said that “there was an issue between the council and ourselves and that’s been resolved”.

A city council spokeswoman said that the correct markings would be put in place.

She added: “We are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding how this occurred. In the meantime, the line markings will be corrected this week.”