Fixtures in Scotland face possible postponement next weekend after Category One referees facing the biggest threat to their safety since Duncan Ferguson retired voted to strike after being refused permission by the Scottish Premier League to wear balaclavas.
Scottish match officials are upset at the dangerously high level of criticism that has come their way this season and hoped the disguise could prevent the possibility of angry supporters with an eye for conceit recognizing them in the street.
The Scottish Football Association (SFA) released a statement saying the proposals were ridiculous and could place some of the most vulnerable people in Scottish society in extreme danger.
'The drug and alcohol problems in Scotland are well documented, as are the high crime levels. Balaclavas and crime go hand in hand. They are the stealing classes trademark and the last thing we want is for football fans to mistake criminals in the course of their duty for referees and exact violent revenge upon their being.'
'That should be left to the police. Or Duncan Ferguson. Or whoever gets there first.'
Scottish referee Willie Boyd expressed surprise at the statement.
'The flippant refusal to address the fears of top level Scottish referees is indicative of the malaise within the SFA. They have been listening to our pleas for years yet we have seen no action.'
'In fact, I'd say Steven Hawking's exercise bike had seen more action.'
The SFA have said they are considering hiring the services of referees from the South Korean League, who are martial arts experts.