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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Male referee banned for posing as female officials on dating app Tinder

A male referee has been handed a three-year ban from football-related activities after posing as three female match officials on a dating app.

Connor Mayes created three fake accounts pretending to be officials Lucy Oliver, Amy Robinson and Paula Wyatt on the popular dating app Tinder.

The Hampshire Football Association handed out the ban after Mayes accepted an improper conduct charge, but the organisation Women in Football (WiF) urged the sport's authorities to provide counselling and support for the three targeted officials.

"Lucy, Amy and Paula have been through hell, with their reputations tarnished and their confidence shattered," a statement from WiF said.

"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."

Mayes had been a student of Oliver -- the wife of Premier League referee Michael Oliver -- when she worked at South Downs College near Portsmouth, and had subsequently worked with her at county-level matches

An FA spokesperson said that they had been in "regular contact" with Oliver, Robinson and Wyatt to offer "assistance and guidance".

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