Need for referee protection is highlighted after substantial bans

Football clubs will be responsible for making sure the lengthy bans imposed on three players involved in a referee assault, are enforced.

Three Mullingar Town players have been banned from the sport for 40 years, following a post-match incident in Offaly which left Donegal born referee Daniel Sweeney with serious facial injuries.

A spectator also involved - who already had a life-ban from playing - won't be allowed coach, manage or be part of a club committee.

Paul O'Brien - President of the Irish Soccer Referees Society - says it's up to clubs to enforce the bans...........