A male referee has been banned from football for creating fake Tinder accounts of his female colleagues.
Yesterday, it was announced that Connor Mayes, a referee for Hampshire County FA, has been banned from all football events until 2019, after being charged with improper conduct.
Mayes set up Tinder and Facebook profiles of FA cup final official Lucy Oliver, as well as Amy Robinson and Paula Wyatt.
He used the accounts to flirt with other men, which led to people on social media posting screenshots of the fake profiles & conversations.
Oliver, Robinson and Wyatt all experienced unwanted attention and received numerous comments while refereeing as a result of Mayes’ fake accounts.
Lucy Oliver, the wife of Premier League referee Michael Oliver, who is currently at the Euros, had worked closely with Mayes in the past.
She taught him during her time working at South Downs College near Portsmouth and the two had also worked together on numerous occasions at county level.
Oliver revealed that she has experienced abuse as a result of Mayes’ fake Tinder and Facebook accounts for two years.
Women in Football, a support group for women in the sport, commented on the issue, saying: “Lucy, Amy and Paula have been through hell, with their reputations tarnished and their confidence shattered.
“Mr Mayes can return to football in three years as if nothing has happened but the women need FA sponsored counselling now to help them recover from this traumatic online abuse and to ensure that they can continue as highly successful referees.”
Women in Football have ensured that the Football Association will provide counselling and other support support to the women affected by Mayes’ actions.