Referee head responds to bias claims

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President of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Referees Association (ABFRA), Audwin Walsh, has labelled claims of referee bias against foreign players in the football association’s Premier Division as unfounded.
Blake Thompson, a 28-year-old centre back, Atapharoy Bygrave, a 28-year-old striker; and Kimorlie Brissett, a 23-year-old midfielder, all playing for the Grenades FC here, made the allegations during an interview with ‘The Star,’ a Jamaica-based publication.
Walsh said he was surprised by the claims.
“I was quite surprised but I was privilege enough to read it yesterday [Thursday] and I just equate it to a single match, unfortunately, it seems as if that team [Grenades] would have been at the wrong end of the stick at that game and hence, referees always get the blame,” he said. 
Walsh, a former player himself, however admitted that the standard of officiating could be better in some instances.
“Some of us would have gone off the scene and some of us looking to go there. We would have gotten some fresh legs which we are trying to groom and as FIFA suggests, we should spot talent and try to harness it, so what we are doing in the process is mixing the youths or the younger minds with the older ones,” the referee boss said.
“I must admit that, at times, you’d see some inconsistencies but it is not too far really. It’s a work in progress and,
like I have been saying to the guys, we need to do some groundwork quickly,” Walsh added.
In the article printed 1st March, the players said that they are being enviously singled out by their peers, and that referees have refused to make calls in their favour despite blatant breaches of the laws by opposing players.
However, Hoppers midfielder Keith Kelly, who is also from Jamaica, said he enjoys playing in the league despite the physicality of the players.

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