Ref blows whistle on game after groundsmen botch pitch markings

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The paint job left the pitch sporting two sets of lines

A FOOTBALL match had to be abandoned after botched line markings left the referee seeing double.

Groundsmen ended up painting double lines on the pitch in Edinburgh after some of the markings failed to join up.

Fearing conflict on the pitch, referee Paul Robertson cancelled the game between Edinburgh side Tynecastle and Midlothian side Whitehill Welfare and reported the blunder to the East of Scotland league.

Andrew Renwick, a member of the management committee at Whitehill Welfare, based in the village of Rosewell, said they had been stunned by blunder.

He said they were due to travel to Edinburgh’s Fernieside Recreation Ground for the game on Saturday, but Tynecastle called and said the pitch had been “double lined”.

He said: “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 will now have to reschedule the match, which was part of the first round of the King Cup.

Mr Renwick said he hoped their opposition would be raising the matter with officials.

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.”

Alistair Wilkie, the Tynecastle secretary, would only say that “there was an issue between the council and ourselves and that’s been resolved”.

A city council spokeswoman said the line would be repainted correctly.

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

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