Opening Irish Hockey League games postponed amid umpires dispute

The IHUA declined to put forward a list of umpires for this weekend's matches
The IHUA declined to put forward a list of umpires for this weekend's matches

The scheduled first round of men's and women's Irish Hockey League games have been called off amid a dispute over issues including umpires' expenses.

The Hockey Ireland Board and the Irish Hockey Umpires' Association's executive committee are to meet this weekend to try and resolove their differences.

The IHUA declined to put forward a list of umpires for this weekend's matches.

Hockey Ireland's contingency plan to get clubs to use their own umpires did not prove successful.

The decision to postpone the fixtures was made on Thursday to ensure that the costs incurred by clubs might be kept to a minimum.

Hockey Ireland chief executive officer Jerome Pels said: "We regrettably had to decide that this weekend's programme of matches will have to be postponed as the clubs have not been notified of their appointed umpires for their matches.

"We hope that the clubs, the players, members and sponsors appreciate that this has been a difficult decision and has not been taken lightly."